Sunday, November 11, 2012

"love, as a speeding car"

"love, as a speeding car"
written mostly in a college coffeehouse by jake kilroy.

i was asked how i saw love,
back when all i could afford to eat was string cheese
and my politics weren't quite articulate but already dying.

i said,
"love is like speeding along next to a train
and seeing if you can jump out of your car
to land in the boxcar before the tunnel.
it's all about timing, not process."

"you don't think it's about the journey?"

"what journey worthy of the unbearable trouble
ever started out with a foot in the right direction?"

this was the truth raised by wolves,
fidgety in flames, reckless immaculate,
kissing lies in the backwoods
and not telling the mouth.

in my youth,
my knuckles rapped on my chest like gunshots
to quell an itch that somebody called a heartbeat,
which was painted as the high lonesome sound
in americana gift shops that made a history of selling goods
to expatriates, out in the great plains of western guilt.

to the righteous, love is fragile.
to the jokers, love is a quesadilla at two a.m.

true love isn't scrapbooks or popsicle sticks.
it's a gang fight where death or jail blur,
and the hope goes out of the heart
and splatters the body and seizes its wreckage
and turns memories into murals,
so a lover can have an alter to pray to
those nights that the insomnia eats away.

the wandering, the breaking, the tricking,
it all comes down to what you won't do
when you finally have the chance.

so lovers gloriously amass on their rooftops
like weathervanes and point in every direction
to turn apartment buildings into art shows,
for look at how beautiful they are to behold,
even though heartache is kitsch at this point.

every jab at the steering wheel,
every deep breath in the shower,
every drunken outpouring,
it's all for show,
time and time again,
but then the great travesty
becomes leaving underwear behind
in every other lonely u.s. bed.

and so the punchline comes in a great laugh
of college students spitting out philosophy
at a downtown coffee house
where the owner has to be just fucking sick of it,
since they come in night after night and drop nobody names
as if they're trying to let them blow away
and then give chase to autumn leaves
that can't be raked together
because they crumble.

these colors that end up in the little black book
are supposed to be more than a museum's inventory.
they're taped up and held together by luck
and savagely worshipped with primal fury.
this is my way out.
this is my way home.
this is my way of saying,
"don't trust any writer
who's claimed he's called a girl from a pay phone."

what good is it?
what good is any of this?
all of this is either the first thread of a voodoo doll
or the last shred of sanity in a world's turning grace.
revolution, resolution, absolution,
we repeat in a chant of scripture
we wrote ourselves with breaths
that sounded like apologies
in the winter that we wrote
every love letter we've been meaning
to send for goddamn years.

tremendous, finally,
what shall we treasure for eternity,
if not this?
yes, yes, yes,
we growl
like beasts.
so there,
in a car,
we speed.

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