Roan Michael

This little mountain.
He will know where he is going before he ever learns where all he was.
Held fixed within a body with legs. Static. Sitting still. Car seat. Buckled in.

Seventy five down eighty one.
Running away from home again.

Little hill.
Mini mountain.
Rooted like water.
To nothing, nohow, not ever.
Falling into beds like snow.
Royalty raining over drought plagued nations.
Little king.
Four tires rolling.
Strapped to a back. Strolling.
Don’t just put a pin in it. Go bowling.

Move. Make it tonight.
Between parental continents.
Mountains arise. This one too. And soon.
We’ll see him like we never have before.
With eyes.

The Garbanzo Bean and the Chickpea

It’s debilitating. Isn’t it. Narcissism.
Exhaustive. Anxiety-ridden. Too.
Often I have overheard fragments of directed conversation.
They say he. But I hear me. Cut to two hours later.
I’m white knuckling a pen just laden, damn near buried
under the weight of a thousand hypotheticals
invented out of thin air. Been on a diet.
Some time now. Full on eating clouds.
Choked down then shit out like white flakes. Just for me.
This joke this guy just told.

What’s the difference between a garbanzo bean and a chickpea.
He was so convinced without the lead up, the couple beside us,
could not be offended, that he just said.

I would never let a garbanzo bean do that on my head.

Down Hills High Speed

This peculiar work.
This lowest legal wage.
Paid to help people play.
In the snow.
Tempting gravity.
Nowhere to go.
But down hills high speed.
Not for me.

Though I will gladly take pay to keep it an open albeit precarious possibility for them.
Others.
Buried in layered flannel and rainbow goggles.
I like to imagine behind them they see the world
like a horsefly gushing by trees bristled hairs in loose whipping tails.
Ears twitch and break brittle as ice.
Hit the landing just right.
Broken wings and six shattered legs lie crumpled in a pile.
Rise from the white ashes.
Laughing.
Clearly this whole thing is no more than a peculiarity.
It’s just. They keep on insisting on calling it work.

New York: By Way of Storm

They were waiting on me to get here.
The wind.
The rain.
Soggy footsteps in dented grass.
Soldering tools.
Beer fridge.
Great lake licking shades that open by remote control.
An ambush.
A trap.
Set up in series like dominoes.
One begets the next and sets up the collapse of all the rest.
In good time.

Dog plastic clicks and floor rattles in battles against the inevitability we call gravity.
Laid in wait.
Mouth open.
Whisper breathing.
Eyes hungry and open.
As I enter a scene.
Well orchestrated and rehearsed.
All except for the part I play. Of course.
An unwitting fool. A chicken dinner.
Which goes against the oven roasted golden brown rule.

Be nobody’s chicken dinner.

If you intend to make a meal of me, you will only get thinner.
This wind blown rain spotted weather.

The long flat roads framed in soaked farmland and fresh water harbors.
Seabirds lost in lake mist and island peppered distance.
Trip wires in thinning choirs and cold church Sunday morning.
Broken boilers.
Daylight spoilers.
Cows feet caked in mud and old men with blond ponytails down their backs.

Poised.
For the attack.
Growing tired of waiting.
But now that I am here.

No one is waiting anymore.

Took New York by storm.
And it hasn’t quit since.

And the sun sits. While the earth turns.

What do we believe? So we’ve skipped right past knowing, have we.
To have faith. Or be had by one. Buyer’s choice.

To the chagrin of mainstream religion.
God gave dominion broken up equally among all the living.
And doesn’t much care who wears white collars.
It isn’t likely to care too much about any one us at all.
Just lucky to be lumped in with the rest of the universe.

I believe.

If language fails to articulate the relationship we have with our creator.
The flaw is in language.
We are here. We exist.
Some thing. Some it.
Some process led to all this.

God is the three-lettered word we use to discuss whatever that is.
Whatever It it turns out to be. Or doesn’t.

Even if It only happened once.
And now It isn’t in existence.

Belief.
I believe.
I know.

There will be a tomorrow.
The sun doesn’t rise to convince me.

I can see it in the stars.
The entire earth is turning.

By the Quiver

Dangerous language. What else is there?

Bad words. Try one on me.
Hello. To any enemy.
Goodbye. To the precious few who love you.
Alive. Really. A bad word. When you think about it too much.

A live what?

Emotions are objects that live in the earth.
On the ground. All around.
Straight arms off oaks and hard yet carvable stone.
Taxes off turkeys and twine made out of your mother’s hair.

But language is a spear.
Arrows dissecting the air.
Touching some poor soul. Far off. Over there.
Nothing they can do about it.
Vocabulary owes much of its origin to weaponry.
Warfare and posturing.

When discourse on discussions leads disagreements
to breed dissent against the didactic despondent diatribe
of how we describe our very overly literary lives.

Dis. A latin prefix. Means apart. Away.
Dangerous language. Bad words.

You there awkwardly outholding a vibrating bow.
Same as you. Once you release the string.

Standing there holding on to what you really mean.

But not the part of you sent off flying into the unknown.
That is what you call an arrow. Vocabulary. By the quiver.
With good enough aim, language is incredibly dangerous.

You get good enough with words.

No one may ever come too close to you again.

The Most Local Project

No matter the specific product, we are all in the business of ideas.
The farmer, entrepreneur, developers of worlds, one through three,
and the architects of our very homes. Minus a captivating thought,
some broad yet sort of singular gut impulse to generate,
we are a fairly static unchanging species.

The first tool put to use by the squat, ape-faced ancestors of modern humans was stupidity. Weakness. The reason we try and will not stop, is need. Tall mountains,
flooded rivers that will not obey their banks, changes in the weather.
This endeavor is both yours and mine.
To recognize and study the constant pursuit for the source of ideas.
Great, humbling and even exhaustively lucrative imagination.
Where would such things come from?

The same place as the minds that gave birth to them.
Inspiration is in our houses. With us where we slept.
Thrown out discarded with other objects we could have kept.

Yours. Mine. All of us share a piece of this project. Ourselves.
The sole source of this place’s most impressive life changing product. Us.
Where value has always come from. An entire universe begins and ends within.

All people are a local project.
And where our feet touch down, meet and grip ground, is an ancient foundation.
The first. And because this structure has been around so long,
it has not been given due consideration. The human being.
Our local project. An invaluable resource.

One that we do not have to go too far or dig too deep to retrieve.
It lives with us, in our homes and wherever we work.

The soil that cradles our most prolific pursuit is thought.
It is our most local product.

Shipbuilders

Our political system is having conversations that we, its citizens, are not.

We have used our collective, national imagination to finally do what we have always murdered prophets for doing. We’re predicting our pitfalls. Our future failures. It is a massive blow to the ego. But before we go building up the nuclear arsenal and battening down the hatches, remember, nothing has actually happened. Nothing whatsoever.

When the boat rocks, every hand is on deck. We don’t argue tax plans. We just start writing checks. What we call government is a pie crust of individuals incessantly campaigning to be popular enough to keep their careers. And really, the sanctity of their names. All on top of this massive creamy filling of neverending government office jobs. Courthouse clerks. Cops. Janitors. Receptionists. Those kids they hire to get their coffee. So surprised when something they did not stop at eyes leads their hands to committing a crime.

Our turmoil is their job security.
The last administration’s failures are always fresh fodder for this one.
How they explain away all the choppy water during this American expedition.
We’re all on deck still for yesterday’s storms.

But nothing has happened. Politically, globally speaking, there are blue skies and very few dark clouds on the horizon. We’re actually in good, clear, steady water, comparatively speaking.

Now is not the time to argue over captains, or suggest mutiny.

Before this bubble bursts, let’s get to dry land. Find some forests. Cut fresh timber.
Patch the holes in the sails.

Let’s build a better boat.
Not bigger. Not greater.

This last election turned a new generation of Americans on to politics. Politics, is an industry. Industries put on shows, and hide doubts, and even losses, in order to keep their stockholders confidence. They will decry and bemoan abhorrent figures into American history. Into great military power and media attention. A lot of people are making a lot more money because of how much we now pay attention. Spoiler alert. It is going to be a cliffhanger. There is always going to be part forty five, and forty six and so on. The new one will always blame the state of this nation on the actions of the previous administration. And by the time they’re out, let’s just say no one cares to see their tax return as much after that.

I don’t know. I tend to get deep, and preachy, and metaphorical.
But this needs a base. This argument needs water.

The current boat is the dollar. It is our national, global representative currency. And there are at least three things that can not be industries, because they will always be monopolies. Because they’re essential to our basic access for life.
Which is not a government, but a universally guaranteed right.

Food.
Water.
Shelter.

There is absolutely no reason other than our own obliviousness that these basic resources should be translated through a national representative currency before reaching us.

The end result is, if you have no money, you lose the right to life.
You do not eat or drink or sleep inside.

It happens to people all the time. The aid they receive is not connected to the environment capable of producing such means. Farms. Taxed for the land they work on. And hungry people. Fed by a government program.

The revolution is food production infrastructure.

Little cashless economies all across the country that end up supplementing most, if not all our basic dietary requirements. Water is tied up in food production. So is shelter. The idea of someone being homeless, or unemployed, could be laughable. Farms should absorb these people like water into a sponge. And if there is any government spending to be done, or taxation required, cut out the middleman every now and then, pick up a phone, and call a farmer. Damn.

If the boat would stop rocking for just a minute, maybe we’d see it different. It is very much like our entire nation, politically speaking, still has post traumatic stress
leftover from the World Wars.

And almost every one of these desperate decisions we’ve coerced into sense,
has been in response to a trigger.

Every single conflict we’ve been involved in since, started in the minds of our representatives. And they are having conversations about us neither you or I or anyone we know would ever have. To them, our lives are math.
Telling us we’re divided. Calculator in hand.

Assuring us we’re cut clean in half. But I don’t buy that. And you shouldn’t either.
Now is as good a time as there has ever been for us to get ourselves together.

We could forget hiring the right captain. For the time being.

Americans should go back to shipbuilding.