All these long days since you’ve called have been as the early winter, a knife through a frost-bitten town. Lonely men give confessions over long-distance lines, drive the night road to cafe lights.They come for coffee, ballads and water-color postcards, stay until it’s time to sweep up and lock up. And then they flee this place when the Dog Star burns the southern sky. It’s snow across the lamplight, lonely rooms across the bridge. A cold turn of metal at 29 below. A floorboard’s groan. They’re bound for the great cross of Cygnus or the Great Beyond, but they can’t outrun her eyes.
Photo taken near Lolo Pass, on the Montana-Idaho line.
I learned a lonely song sung down in a fire canyon of Moon Pass ending at nightfall down the end of an empty street of possibility lights burned in the windows of that old mountain town a village in love with her pretty smile old men drank in taverns while I worked in dirt under endless sun my arms grew hard and brave with every mile
Day four of Christmas staycation: I found a feral snowman on my river walk. As you can see, he was missing a few river stones, but overall that’s positive body language. I’d go as far as to say a bit triumphant, thrusting those stick-arms like that, right into the wild blue, whence his components came. As if to say, “I wasn’t here before, but now I am.” For a time. Or some such existential snowman thoughts. Oh, ye lovers of Kierkegaard in the cold.
Oddest thing was a scrappy dog (belonged to some other hiker) with energy unleashed came up the trail, regarded the snowman and began to bark incessantly in his direction. This was awkward for the three of us. But I guess the dog found it strange that snow might be shaped that way. Perhaps it wondered: Might it be alive and nature made? But it’s hard enough to read a human. Maybe sometimes a thing like art–a song, a novel or a snowman, say–is shaped by human paws, and then set free or left to escape.
Well, not much else needs saying here … Actually, none of this needed saying. .
You taste her goodbye kiss when the night scent is snow & wall shadows play a black-and-white movie. When the sweet tug of dreams & soft embrace of sheets leave you lonely, all of you at the edges of her heart that shadowland of question marks. through a vapory window it’s all mule deer and moonlight by the polished lake, smooth as jade on this cold, northern night. none of this will let you sleep & so you comb your hair dress your city best sit & watch the town lights blinking hear a sad dog barking from somewhere up the road There’s a ring of ice around the moon tonight
Wind on the barbed wire gives voices to her pretty, far-off sighs. Even here, miles from anywhere … What makes you believe that coyotes sing love songs? All the beautiful breaks your mind.
Half-good lyrics scribbled by the roadside as passing trucks rock you in their windy wake. Little love spells left for her on crumpled cafe receipts & the address label of a Smithsonian magazine. They’re all that’s left to say in the sprawling stretch between ranches and downhearted towns. Ancient fence posts patrol empty places haunted by a coyote stuck in his ways.
She plays the violin while rain drums the world beyond our open window, softly presses her morning cheek to woodgrain, sweeps a silvering strand across her face, a declaration in muted light She closes her hazel eyes of rarity sings my beautiful sins with rosined bow & strings as I turn from the rain in our room to her Ireland eyes
No man is above the law But your French kisses are so ooh la la, they ought to be illegal Your shape is a Breton accent, flowing blue taffeta down the rose-pink granite coast to Golfe of Saint-Malo Send me to Sing Sing, sweet whisper on my skin Color me incorrigible Or let me live on the lam in the vast distance of your chestnut hair, and I’ll answer a very old question for you, the one behind your Holly Golightly eyes.