After the Snowbirds
Wet newspapers about school levies that didn’t pass, still rolled up and rubber banded, beached on the shores of the road like dead fish. Cottontail and quail take back the streets, the saguaro in silent hallelujah raise their arms. Uninhibited night construction, extra big helpings of pasta for us regulars at AJ’s Fine Foods on Thursday nights. Why would anyone hate a Phoenix summer? The smell of mesquite pods drying in the evening sun, iced coffee sweating on the dusty patio. Jeff Bridges mumbling through another teen movie as a wise old sage. Moft curses can be usethful, if you (tips flask in wistful rue, in salute to invisible fallen comrades, in peaceful worship of trees, in hopes that his new Sleep Tapes and this movie will make money for the hungry, in Dude-like, I-didn’t-ask-to-be-your-role-model, compassionate resistance to laugh at how much suffering you create for yourself and all the things he knows are lies) slurs something unintelligible and sad and true that makes you want to be more authentic and alive, to play an instrument, to hike the canyon tomorrow at 4:30am, to wear sandals, to pass levies, to be Jeff Bridges Dulci-More Music Festival
He took the dining hall stage at the old boy scout camp 3 miles from Lisbon. He had long knobby fingers and held the dulcimer wrong on purpose, like a guitar. He was seventeen; most of his audience was seventy. Their smiles were amused when he picked his way through "Sweet Child o Mine" by Guns n Roses. But when he ended on John Denver's "Annie" they began to hum, that sea of seated silver tilting in waves of nostalgic lullabye. They hummed and some sang "You come to my senses..." and you could hear them aching (no, it was me aching) for that desperate Midwest romanticism, that decade of daughters watching Little House on the Prairie, of brothers shucking corn on a porch floor stapled with short fake grass. They hummed as if everyone else had left the tiny church at the end of their wedding day and before the photographer tossed them under a tree before the receiving line hustled them briskly and efficiently toward the white crustless towers of chicken salad sandwiches they had stolen the blanket designated for Vacation Bible school picnic day and were humming under it summer coming on night about to fall. The Kickstand
Positioned at 30-45 degrees weight leaned against gravity, using the planet towards hell like a thin arrow. Foot dislodges, scrapes, against sidewalk/gravel/concrete. David and Goliath—simply at the right angle. Stillness after the silence after you leave. Wreck. How each day is like a how you are like a spill. Pinned under you. One Million Likes for Andy
This face is the horizon moon and he is the sun. Who is the horizon? Color is the horizon, sorrow is the horizon that makes this happy so big. Big is freedom. Big is giving all your love to one face. Worry is the horizon, it makes abandon like this balloon suspended in air and yet not with helium, it doesn't move, we look down and away. And when we look back up...Still big! Still wow! Abandon is fame, Warhol's lens is a million eyes, a million lighters, one million likes.