Out driving the other day I saw a
cottage for sale on a California back road
called the realtor on the sign
She said to meet her there
used to belong to a writer
You're invited into the scene
intruder in another's domain.
Bands of wood and metal mullion form a windowed room
cobalt blue knee walls
red hardwood plank floor boards
through the glass a California buff then tawny landscape
room almost empty
table with an ashtray
antediluvian cup of coffee
open leather bound book
Curious about the book?
take a second
experience the view from this nook
occupy the chair
light up a smoke
back to the book
you contemplate a group of words;
behold the open page
constructed by the author:
Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into truth.
You thanked the realtor; told her the
cottage is exactly what you were looking for
you asked the realtor about the writer
who lived by the Pacific; left in such a hurry
while reading Yeats
Sometimes we really want to know the truth
I thought one day, sitting in a cafe on Polk Street
with this other person who resembled a girl friend
short black leather skirt, spiked red hair like
upside down icicles
looked as if she possessed the potential to rip hearts out
one long leg draped over the other, her foot rocking back and forth
her frail, bare arms crossed on her chest, sunglasses could not
conceal those eyes burning with her new found anger, she said:
"I know why you go see her...your little personal habits."
"It's not like that. She's just a friend. You're imagining things."
I noticed a wedge of cobalt sky above the city scape
heard the repeated click and hiss of someone working a Bic lighter
half empty wine glasses a cheap, obscene detail, who
did this girl and I pretend, disillusion within ourselves, into believing
we could appear to be?
here's a heart for every fate, ah but the heart has its reasons
yes, this naked thinking heart, a heart that escapes these current sorrows
beats like an Indian drum song, this young vibrant girl friend
she has a tattoo of a quarter inch spider on her pipe like neck
"I've kissed that spider a hundred times."
"I didn't have it put there for your benefit. You bastard."
Her foot rocked faster. Tension in our little world you could cut with
knife. Right then you heard a cable car clanging down the middle of the
street like a parade
a waiter refreshed the wine, I noticed a hole in the girlfriends shoe
I loved the way she smelled like flowers
we had made love in the cast gray shadows of an honest full moon
our arms spreading outward like Alder branches beside a dream creek
by the creek of our wildest dreams, dreams of other cities, dreams of
mountain ranges, dreams of large inland lakes, dreams of perfect futures
"We've been through quite a lot of good times Ninge."
"Why don't you call me Nina. That's my name. Call me that."
"You like to manufacture hostility."
"What if I had a male friend I liked to go see. Separate from you?"
I felt the warm California sun on the back of my neck
as the sun dipped below the awning of the Polk Street cafe
you could smell the clam chowder from the fish bar next door
Nina laid her elbows on the little saucer of a table. She said:
"Sometimes we really want to know stuff about each other."
she twirled her long white fingers around her wine glass
spiked hair stalactites punched the thick air between us
I forced my hand to scratch my neck then
rub the scalp of my bald head
"Like why you think you need what you need."
what did this girlfriend know of man kinds bad habits?
his affection for a softening of the glass edges of reality
the clang of the cable car became annoying, stared at the
hole in her shoe
"OK. You dumb old big fool. You keep playing your games
and the best thing that ever happened to you walks out of
your stupid little life forever."
I tried to single out a detail in the city scape that surrounded us
there were two many distractions for one detail to emerge
closed my eyes, blocked out sounds, enjoyed the California sun
decided maybe sometimes we really don't want to know
I live in an old farmhouse in Northern Michigan. Recent work 2002;
Fluid Ink Press, Atomic Petals, L'Intrigue and a long story in Judas_E-zine.
->Editor's Note: RC is also the editor at Moonwort Review! You should
check it out: http://www.themoonwortreview.com