Hay golpes en la vida, tan fuertes . . . Yo no se! –Cesar Vallejo
(There are blows in life, so powerful . . . Don’t ask me!)
The night is caged like a bat so Dracula can’t fly.
The earth’s plated underground works overtime
finding the next shift between the clashing nests
hanging over the moon. When you come home
there is no one answering your door. The razor
of the mind cuts deep. The blood curdles in flesh
that if left too long unappeased feeds the monster
without reprieve. I was thinking of the brave lass
I left once upon the time she revived her horror.
I find it difficult to know because I wasn’t there.
In a word, I knew nothing. It took us forty years
to talk. Wisdom I have is fragile and impotent
to speak of alcoholism in light of drug addiction.
I feel a twinge of troubled weather. I read. I listen.
Tonight I heard I may live near her kind of hell.
The North Woods, Paul Bunyan habitat, is a place
to make their elixir in houses unlikely to be seen.
One day an innocent from town, his gun on safety,
was hunting grouse out there, following a path
where a lunatic attacks him, stabs him, steals
what he wants, and returns to huddle in his house,
not far from the car where the hunter crawls
to call 9-1-1; and that’s how the house was found.
Then I listened to Nick Reding talking about Iowa
in his Methland, in the New York bookstore
The Strand, where I bought Charles Mingus’s
Beneath the Underdog my first day in the city.
I’m playing The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
because I’ve read both books and it’s only her
I want to help somehow by jotting down words
that occur to me now, urging her to please save
herself. He died, whose music rescued her for love
to share between them as long as he stayed alive.
I want to say something that won’t sound syrupy,
but: You are all you need as long as you get with
people who know the story no one wants to have
to repeat to help others to help themselves to stop
and stay here, among the living. Hear Miles play
with Coltrane. Sounds like they're in your house,
saints and sinners all. Your life need not be so short.
May you cherish always your sax man's great heart.
(10 April 2013: II)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander