Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Road poems (variations)


I'm left falling asleep with tear beads
dropping from eyelash to cheek
creating mini rivers down my beard
This anarchist break from Maine
all too sad and silly some days
playing gin-rummy on stoops across this country
for money is a fair bet
of weather or not we will make it
chance in the deck not the dealer
or the holder.
I find myself humming the time away
between the silences we share are laughs
giggles and glints of dust in the setting sun
dancing around our faces
all too sweaty and dirty and darkening with the days
as they pass we loose track of the months
unfolding before us
lost souls stirring in this complex world
we are running like children playing
cops and robbers
in the meridian of blood
are we thieves in the night?
as we live off of dumpster dives for bread
and tea from strangers?
the more rusted and earthen we look
the more people smile and hand us change

sooo, so strange

I don't remember his name but his face
is as clear as a kodachrome dream
weathered short brown mop atop a face
mid fifties and graying
I'm guessing his sanity was about the same as ours
he giggled endlessly behind us on a bus through Texas
kept asking each time we stopped for a smoke break
“is this LA”?
Nope I say
I woke up to see him standing and staring all too alone
holding his broken Camel butt between his lips
scooped up in his tan insulated Carhart bibs
he is a dust bowl era man
far from home
I don't recall when he failed to get back on the bus
but I remembered his haunted lost look
when he wasn't there anymore

The people you observe on the road
are skin sacks crammed full of life
bitter and broken in a sea of memories
none specific, they all seem to be improvising
and living in lies to hide along the road
foreign air acts like a holistic medicine
to cover up the cracks and the caverns
of beatings and breaks underneath their existence

Waking up in a town north of the Mexican border
a line of officers shined us with flash lights
in the early morning frost
asking if each passenger was an American citizen
this westward caravan's like a dream
of pearl gun grips, rattle snakes, ghost towns
and land that seems to unravel forever
across the scape of cactus and sand, oil rigs
drinkers in dusters, bars blinking dim lit and
seemingly deserted
this country is smaller and bigger at the same time
for two mid twenties children
running with the bandits
in the last pale light of the west

Wherever we are going
I don't know
each time we drift to sleep we end up
running with the wild horses you see
all throughout the west

Louisiana boasted black and white men
alike, mainly maintaining that Jesus
brought them from the prisons
to the palace.
by night and day
stranger's getting stranger.

Our tan Carhart bib overalled friend,
kept asking if we were in Huston yet?
giggling to himself as we approached
major cities along the way.
I cried when I noticed the lonely
in his blank stare
late in the dead city deep south,
waiting for another caravan to pack up.

My pitch forked figure
with crusted eyes
sleeps only by day
a half hour or so at a time
weary of pickpockets and
thieves along the highway drone

Mile upon mile
crows casting glass
along a Nevada pit stop where
a mess of a mother,
ghetto and greasy
gave blow jobs out in a
McDonald's bathroom
for a Happy Meal.
Food for her
young daughter.
The night before, claiming assault
to a man sound asleep, so she
could swing a set of seats
to watch over her kin

Jason Asselin's twin lost his lady
and baby and headed back to the bay
homeless once again,
rambling in a southern drawl,
that lit up the dark early morning sky
his stale breath of smoke
outside the station of, god knows where.
Greyhounds bring all the likes
gang members, homeless, crazies, babies,
families from Tulsa, Heroin addicted,
strung out sad eyes, liver-lost grease Goth's
and a slue of everything else
saddle stitched for the road
dead set on chasing the sun.

There is a freedom in the lack of things we own
we traveled roadside and ditch, pitching tents
forever hitching west, penniless...a choice we chose,
but many along side us, road on, choice-less

we shared the little we had,
apples and Nutella
and enjoyed grumbling bellies
making it all the better to be dreaming
of sewing seeds
sleeping on a beach in Santa Cruz,
with all the merry bums
and druggies

The last light in the west over Monterey bay
gave us breath, remembering the
cold days back east, where for months
the sun is so far lost
behind clouds and fog, that we forget
the warmth and the rain, awaiting us
only a few fortnights away.

The felons and freaks, train hoppers and oil men,
immigrant families, arrested mid day
ripped from a bus, busted for transporting
Illegal's and drugs.  The deserts of the West
don't give much. Life doesn't hide
in the hills of West Texas, home to a hell
without a skyline or border.

Chasing these strips of tar trapping our map
routing us like a black widowed
mycelium, running in a spiral, outward
wishing a direction or place would
call itself home for us
in search of a beacon to begin anew
and forget the broken past, that promised
only more heartache.

We are still young runaways from anywhere
out-here, hiding in the movement that keeps us
still, chancing the weight on our hearts with the lack
of such burdens on our backs, a breath past death
and a reason to find out,
what lies in truth
may only be found
where no one can find you.

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