Alone, most of the time, I discover jazz
Find truth within, but not peace.
Aimlessly wandering country roads past majestic old growth
Adorned in Spanish moss, rising above
An abandoned shack on cinder-block stilts
in the middle of nothingness
Many nights in pulsating clubs.
I go home empty.
Someday I’ll learn the way back
To the place I won’t need
To run from anymore.
Inspired by on balmy terrain
I held a cluster of dreams at dawn
I just took what I wanted most
but the gangs of nomads came
stealing many of them away
In the red sands of Arizona
I became lost
remained so after I’d returned home
There is a desolate charm
in being lost
Until you find yourself looking like a strange wild animal
with a soul full of overgrown weeds
The facades of row houses resemble castle turrets. Sidewalks are heaped with black garbage bags spilling off the curb. Ornate copper downspouts and manicured hedges parallel vacant lots and ringlets of razor wire. After the 115th Street station, the tracks veer to follow the curve of the lake. Tall grasses bow and trees wave as we pass. Freight cars full of automobiles sit motionless on the siding. A Trumpeter Swan on her nest is juxtaposed with discarded railway ties stacked on flatbed cars. Garbage decorates the tracks after Hammon as we clatter above rows of houses with postage stamp lawns and one grass-filled pool. East Chicago: Rowdy Roy’s Fireworks, a burned home with You are the 99% graffitied on its walls. The park of Gary, Indiana, is infested with weeds, the fountain empty. The Steel Cats play a block east. The Interstate Inn has been reduced to two rows of hollow rectangles. One half of a city block has been given over to the trees while the other half is manicured to keep up appearances. Outside the city limits could be the swamps of Florida. A line of rusted Studebakers is hidden among the trees. Passenger cars of the 1930s with tattered yellow tarps covering their roofs alongside piles of twisted trestle steel sit in a weed choked lot. A tattooed man with stretched earlobes stands beside a young boy, their fingers in their ears as they watch the train pass. Exit only where you see the conductor. Pink short shorts hang in an upstairs window. A cross, a circle of flowers, and a baseball have been placed next to the tracks. The First Christian Church has broken windows and a blue tarp on the roof. Worship is at 10am on Sundays.
Inspired by On Balmy Terrain
Sloshing through snow
dreaming of a nomadic way of life
following maps that pointed the way west
via the overland route
But my judgment became clouded by grief
and the smell of red roses
so I gave up fresh water swimming for palm thatched roofs
Soon I found myself alone in the middle of a footbridge
suspended above the ocean
Outlaws threatened to break my knee caps
Under a waning moon I fled north
down a dirt road for home
City lights reflect off low clouds, silhouetting the canyon walls.
We buckle boots, attach our climbing skins
As we click into our bindings, clouds part, stars appear.
Climbing we fall into a rhythm;
Swish, swoosh, swish, swoosh
Alone with our thoughts in the halo of our headlamp,
Swish, swoosh, swish, swoosh.
At Elbow Fork we stop
Remove our skis, pack our skins,
Click back into our bindings,
Look up to the stars above.
Breathe deep in the silent night, push off
and glide for home.