Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 begins, at least with one entry

Rain, cold fog - ah, indeed ‘tis winter in Oregon!

Back on night-shift this week. A new boss that we briefly met last week takes control of the shipping department. All we really know about her is: she was in the same position in the Albany mill before it was shut-down last month and she was liked (at least by the one person who worked in her department three years ago). Lots of changes in the works, coming down from the Memphis gods who love the fact our shipping department is the most efficient in their system, but they want us to change and be like everyone else …. Whatever that entails, I guess we’ll find out between now and March, when the magic transformation is supposed to take place. I keep telling myself, no more than 6 and a half years, and I can retire ….. :-(

oh, before i forget - thanks to everyone who's left comments. i really like hearing what you are up to/think/ feel about the poems and this blog in general. And if you can, the ever constant mantra - help support small presses in your area.

Today we have a poem- from a discarded manuscript - it may have been included in a couple of versions of Humbly I Offer These Awkward Poems, but i don't recall if it was in the last incarnation, which was accepted for publication by Cedar Hills Press, but never actually made it to publication before the press folded. I hear rumors it (or at least the editor) is again active, but I’ve lost contact with him and have no real interest in re-establishing any contact. The poem is originally from 12:93.


you call me to visit
glass & steel surrounded by fog
before a great lake that has only
imaginary boundaries. i beg off
citing diminished pay checks
& no spare time, captured by
the web of insecurity.

you call me to visit
a near palace in the sky
you humbly call home.
iron doors & lavender doormen
wearing impervious smiles.
the wind cuts mountains here but reflects perfectly
off mountain lakes. i beg off
citing failed western economics
& the curse of the spotted owl, imprisoned
in a cell of self doubt.

you call me to visit
irish linen & german crystal,
the reflected light of a million solar years
off an optically perfect window -
the lake where gulls dance
in a hazy breeze. i beg off
citing old age & lungs
that are less than ideal.

in my mountains, the world rots:
beetles & gypsy moths fly the same
alpine zephyrs as spotted owls.
storms sneak in from the Aleutians
& trees bow down in worship -
streams will churn black long before
they ever become crystalline again.
it is here i am chained -
each link a dream torn asunder.
it is here i am dying -
a cold rain falling in a forest no one visits.

you call me to visit.
at&t fibre optics, sterling sound,
lush & vibrant goddess voice - the wind
across pink lips. no greek isles.
no hot sweaty afrikan coastlines. just
a jazz band in the hotel lobby
& a blind singer of urban blues
across the street. i beg off
citing your beauty, my obesity,
knowing i should never stain such elegance
with the curse i have become.