Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Call and Response poems James and Ross revisited

September 7th, 1999

To Ross
No sadness in this one, no wont, no confusion, no wierdness, 
no sexual battery of the self,
no frustration to clog our sinks, 
no anticlimactic fuzzthinkers......
I just wanted to know how your holiday was......

oh, and to say I am well and 
in no way close to the place I was in the last few confusing middle of the night shots in the dark..
I fed myself up with that whole amberthing 
and one of the shots hit a piñata that bled all over me 
the rediculous rain that rains and rains all over us and we can't stop it, 
it is there, for us or against us....
always for us and against us, 
it hits and we can laugh, smile or get angry and upset...
let it rain...
let it rain out my cigarette..., thankfully so. 
There is much much power in the littlest things... 
like turning the ringer off on the phone. 
I decided that no call could make me feel any better and 
she wouldn't call anyway and 
if she was to I wouldn't care or need that. No good could come of that anyway...
no call could give me what I was looking for so
I switched it off for a night, then two. 
There is power in that, 
a great tantamount starshaking power that does wonders 
that St. John's Wort and funny movies can only imagine reaching....
Maybe you remember it. It is a definate bachelor type of power, 
maybe an illegal intoxicant..
It was and it worked. It made me free, 
like throwing away a half smoked smoke, 
like turning off a song that you love halfway through..
It was necessary and made a step, 
a step out of the darkness......the night they drove old dixie down...
.na na na na nana na an na na ............... .Love James

To James

To reply...
To reply with a laugh and a smile and a sigh. 
No tears in the eye? 
No Joe 
we must flow with things not so salty and wet yet sweet sweat. 
To reply with a gleam in the eyes 
when Joe NOLA boy tells stories of morning glorious dreams come true 
like that time he decided it was time to stop stewing in love-sick soup telephone ringer roues.
Yes! 
And bravo para mi hombre if only I could speak Spanish. 
And yes. 
I found a chord and accord a connection and reflection.
Some circumspection... manipulated...
and that blood stained rust caked word we worship or adore adulterate then abhore
when SHE forgets that mi penga AINT no sign of the times and a nursery rhyme spewing lemon flavored lyme. 
An exclamation point 
or an untouched joint 
choking on token moments of affection mistaken for truth 
and a blood stained rust caked gold plated peuter word at times used as a sword that some love-wishers hord.
Yes it was a good weekend and a holiday. 
No piñatas spitting upon my mind multicultural candy coins. 
Just sweet sweat minus chocha amarga. 
A vacation from spirit stimied by New New Yawkers and unhospitality hawkers. 
From conformity sharks and matty matty matty materialist paddies clothed in the latest garments of ever so perpetuated styles and when that ever-so-rare a New York notion appears I mean ya see Wall Street to Mid-town even East to West Village silicon smiles. 
I walk miles 
to meet the real and true 
HE and SHE
that understands 
GOD is WE 
as long as we are honest and considerate, compassionate, thoughtful and free to be as we are 
when we are truly true.
Who? 
Oh I REALLY DON'T KNOW 
as the story goes about the tale of Joe or Jack with the weight of too many loves on his back. 
She was gorgeous. 
Gorgeous I tell ya. 
Yet she melted in my mind the way cotton candy disolves on one's tongue. 
True Freedom. 
Like that time I walked out the door without taking my art supplies and six books three journals a walkman two weeks worth of discs and seventeen scratchy scratch pens in a satchel, duffel bag and backpack for an evening of coffee house haunting waiting just waiting pre-senile osteo perosis. 
Yes... 
She was gone with the last change in barometric pressure or direction of wind. 
Did I swim?
 It could be that I was that sugar molecule melting in saliva on MY tongue. 
Absorbed and reabsorbed into my very own stream of consciousness.
SO...
gotta run, gotta skip, gotta jump. 
Gotta pretend earning a living for the sum sense of paying my rent is equivalent to worshiping the sun.
Love,
Ross in the city that hasn't yet awakened to the fact that style worn too tightly wears like old shoelaces and freyes and snaps. 
Style worn in place of soul is equivalent to the aftermath of sex being various forms of venereal disease, the clap. 
Attitude worn like clothes as style is like the assumption that buildings made of thick cement walls along the San Andres Fault will not crack and crumble.

Big Bad Leroy Brown and Don Juan's Reckless Daughter revisited from July 1st 2011

How long have we struggled to write my friend? 17 short years growing shorter with age... Is it possible that in my prolonged silences you think that I forget your hipswing poems of NOLA? I don't forget myself although I forget details. Every day another detail lost to the wind and I wonder how it ever was that I thought I would write more with experience. But with experience the experiences fade in memory. I remember your jeep and your crazy driving on the side walk passing traffic in Manhattan and maybe you thought you were Dean Moriarty and your babe from the cape Mary Lou. But maybe you were just yourself better expressed in a book, yet only if you're looking for that illusion. How things change over time. I don't struggle to write anymore. I am the pen and the paper. My feet scratch out the words in the sand or pavement, concrete as I pass and that's my story damn it! FUCK THIS FANTASY! screams out as I crumple up another manuscript of mind and toss it in the waste-paper basket of life. Why must we be heros? 

As I'm inspired to write as I write you now, I feel sad. Because there is truth in the short and subtle rage of releasing boys from our souls and turning off the big screen tv of our minds. Open the door and step out into the light of the street and there you are, YOU. And I wonder about you who taught me about stream of consciousness which became my best writing... What a flow Jack! For the moment no more monkey on my back. Stanley took off with the plan and left me thinking about Leroy Brown somewhere in middle America and that's who we are when we're not flying. Just big dark and heavy figures beating down the fears we harbour and hopefully we don't terminate as he terminated... Rise above the rooftops of our limits and find more free space not so thick aired suffocation... 

And where did I go? I'm still here. 17 years later. Walking my story, loving my story, anticipating my story. And when I die the book will close and how many pages had I written? I ran early in the day. In the sun, you don't float. You cut. For me, it's the duty to complete the run and hope that somewhere during the process I start floating or loafing like a gazelle... But, I accept the difference between almost 38 and that of being 31 and that maybe it's sufficient to reach the end heavy and panting. 3.5 years of apple cake, chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese toppings and fillings, giant cookies and all the pickings and tastings weighing me down. How wonderful it will be that day when I don't live with pastries... I never wanted to bake, but I wanted to make a life here with Margarita and that was the message that entered my mind and I still can't explain how it happened. We were sitting on a park bench in the middle of an enchanted couple of days where I was receiving information about what we were about to do... And suddenly it was time to bake and how we baked! From June 2003 to almost May 2007 we baked. You may ask why that's important when bakers bake or they're not bakers. But that's just it. I'm not a baker and never will be. Just as I'm not a historian nor am I a Jew or a Gringo... Why not? Society places labels but the person has the right to define themselves. And maybe it's not a right so much as a will... I have a will to be clear about myself. I'm not a baker. Maybe I am a Gringo because that's a name placed on an object outsider and can't be chosen... Robert says that they fear him. But maybe it's not so much fear but awe... Do they fear me? No, because I'm short. But maybe it's not fear. Maybe it's down right awe. Robert hops on his steed and he's off, a cowboy riding high and they hop on his back with their eyes and they go for the ride of their mind... I think we're crazy and I fear crazy. But maybe it's not fear but apprehension and you and I never became close friends due to that apprehension. But now who is the more conformed with the baby on the way? But one day you will visit me and I'll still be apprehensive, worried about the pressures towards samba and hipswings and dancing in the streets... But all that lives within me plastered below thousands of pounds of concern about control and security... Is it my mother that rides on my back? 

I remember when I left in that Grehound Bus for the south of the south, knowing that I was jumping off a diving board into an abyss. My mother wasn't sitting with me, nor did I think about her. And I don't remember the best memories of the transformation from American boy to... The passing through Virginia at night and Tennessee during daylight then crossing through Oklahoma at night and Texas in the daylight... Seeing pewter green 57 chevy colored rivers crossing below the highway hundreds of miles before Laredo... Listening to Joni Mitchel's Don Juan's Reckless Daughter for miles and then switching to Plant and Page and back to Joni, Plant never could hold Joni's hand as he wished... I knew I was leaving and there was no way back... Why wait for physical death to experience rebirth? And I'm a ghost reaching into your dream causing more memory returns... I can still hear the songs playing over the radio while calling for subscriptions at the Democrat. It's as live as that as mundane an experience as could have been. But we were together, weren't we? I remember that parking lot at night and saying good-bye until tomorrow. But I don't remember getting you the job. Just that you were there and I imagine it was through me... At the same time I had a friend who fashioned himself after Charles Bukowsky and taught me how to love a cup of black coffee with nothing, no sugar, but a cigarette butt as an accompaniment in the mouth, beautiful smoke crossing my vision, pouring from my nostrils, one cup at a time in refill diners and I was too young to have appreciated him and his experience or to have known him and I regret never making him more important. But I remember him talking about writing in the first person and how I tried to pawn Sue off on him... It was time for me to move on and she was very clingy. Did I pawn her off on you? Or did I know better? How can I be a writer if I can't remember those things? You went down to Vineland no? You went off into that dream and I let you go... I couldn't enter your risk. It was time for me to stop cliff hanging. I am afraid of heights although I've never truly admitted it. I've done some crazy cliff and top of the ladder rung, third story house eave hanging stunts and I don't remember being afraid. But I couldn't go with you and what a shame, because after all was said and done, it's who I was all along... And now we're married. And what does that mean? I'm your older brother. Maybe you knew that and maybe that's what maintains the distance also... And here I am and I haven't written anything... How about that. We're always traveling but doesn't it seem that we're walking on a treadmill? When will the journey truly begin? And what must we do to be able to fully set off on that one? Do you ask yourself that question? Robert, Michael, Jonathan, James... One real man will always be journeying and his wife may not always understand. The Alchemist was written by a man so it was easy for the bedouin woman to tell her lover that it was his nature to journey and, understanding that, she would always be waiting for his return. So romantic. But I don't believe that women are so accepting and understanding of mens journey needs, since that's not their story... And you marry and blame the limitations on your wife when they were the limitations you sought because it's nice to have someone intimate to come home to, a reason not to be so alone and on the road, because on the road you are a bunch of un-tied ends seeking a knot... I knew that I was meeting Margarita somewhere below the South. I knew the journey wasn't to be had so alone. But as you don't know, I've learned the truth of our separateness and the silence I experience journeying so close to another... Here in Mexico I speak two languages and with so many people and we joke around a lot and plan and talk... But the silence is profound and there is no one to confide in as maybe I had confided in before. Sometimes we don't truly know the levels. That maybe you reach an age and you start becoming more silent regardless of the language and regardless of how much you may talk and laugh... It's a profound silence where I expect decreasingly that another person can understand. And I accept it as my journey alone... It's a meditative journey. And the glory isn't so much in the sharing as it had been in the past... And I am happy for my friends and what they experience and accomplish. But I don't enter their lives or their paths even if we're sitting in the same bus looking at the same mountains...