Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Something from my back pocket notebook

I can't remember where I was going to start with this.
(It's hard to tell when time is passing,
when the beginning of something is,
when it's time to move.)

I feel the turn of the seasons a quarter turn early,
a quarter turn late.
The moment's pass.
They pass.
They pass.
They stay.

I've done this before,
but did I do it today?
Am I locking myself out again?
Or have I locked the door at all.

I ride on the streetcar.
There's a circuit and a progression.
It feels like a bit of myself is charged
In this well travelled route.

Direct current and memory.
Motion through a rainy city.
These might be the only people I see today.

This girl is a dynamo.
Too much of nothing.
Young and spinning.
But she has a nice jacket

And an engagement ring I couldn't afford
On two years of the kind of salary I can get.

It's clear which social strata I occupy:
the educated poor.
It's lonely, but I'd be in good company,
If I could afford to drink more.

I don't though.
I have trouble enough making sure time is passing as it is.
Moments that look and feel like other moments.
And rings that remind me of rings:
'Around the rosie'
'Turning and turning in the widening gyre'
And another I used to wear.

There are so many fights,
so many struggles,
I wonder if I should give up and accept
I occupy a broken place in the Pantheon of American Ideals.

I think back on the ten years I wore that sad and bent pawn shop wedding ring.
Because I thought ideas were more important than the objects they were represented by.
Thrift, creativity, resilience, defiance of convention, and steadfast alliance were all bound up in that $30 secondhand token.

But sadly, no.
The ideas weren't that strong after all.

Cutting a circuit on the streetcar.
Looking at rings so I know where not to shop.
Thinking about how the future gets hidden by the past.

Did I lock myself out?
Or did I leave the door wide open?

Is this woman with a fortune on her hand a sign or a torment?
There are ten years I need to escape from before I can figure that out.
But how do I do that when every day
reminds me of every other day?

Keep adding days.

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