What they simply cannot understand is what his take as a vinyl disc is a moment in a life, a memory encased, over which a dancing stylus bleeds dreams and a history of time is written on the back of its sleeve. They cannot grasp that music doesn’t fit neatly in your pocket, that your neck can grow tired from the weight of the headphones bringing voices and instruments to life. They want all of life portable, we only want to sit, to be anchored and watch the disc and our lives spin slowly around, in a musical kinhin.
This morning I plucked a thread of silence from the dawn, watched, carefully by a cardinal who knew not to break the purity of the moment. I do this as often as I can sometimes grabbing one from the moon, as it sits overhead, holding out its promise of quietude as people retreat into homes. From these threads I have begun to weave a shawl, which, when done I will drape over my shoulders as I sit on the zafu and welcome nothingness into a space I create from everything around me.
The thing with mirrors is that they always want to tell the truth where we what is lies, or at least a little fibs, some wrinkles smoothed, hair now a color the mirror is more than capable of reflecting, but mirrors don’t bend to our wishes, and when they do, at carnivals mostly, the result varies between horror and hilarity.
He said, “I survived the war, was up to my armpits in water wading through the night through the rice plants that would never bear grain once we called in the orange. I walk through minefields, the noise a deafening silence since the only sound that mattered was the click that shouted death You think Ii have issues now and in your mind I certainly do but you my issues didn’t go away like Jamie’s, he heard that click and a moment later his issues were gone, and the moon was painted blood red that night and it inhabits my dreams still.
Two men, having reached
an indeterminate age, sit on old chairs
outside the small town grocery, it’s
neon beer sign half, flickering, around
the corner from the bank on main street.
One, plaid shirt tucked in coveralls,
one bib strap unbuckled, leans back,
takes a turn on his long neck, his cane
propped against his leg, thankful for the rest.
The other, denim shirt bleached in spots,
threadbare in others, pours the remains
of a bag of potato chips into the plastic bowl
resting atop the empty 50 gallon drum that is
at this moment a table, later a platform
for the checkerboard both are not
drunk or bored enough to bring out.
He opens a beer on the edge of the drum
and both look up smiling at the clearing sky
and a Saturday afternoon in the
only America they have ever known.