by Darryl Price
We've come this far. That's all we know. We've watched
others reach their abrupt ends. They've given us this exact
moment and we've taken it from them, sometimes without thinking.
It's time for the next communication. I know what concern
is when it is all you can do, all you
can think and feel, but also everything you miss about
certain summer stars, certain wild winds, certain blowing grasses, those
certain familiar changing pools you must step in to reach
your arms around someone at last again and again. This
original cool depth stays with you like an expanding emptiness
that widens over time into a great basin of loneliness.
You have no choice but to sit down in it
eventually and sob out the bitterness or give up completely.
They don't understand this any better now than they did
before you were taken by a lovely ghost on a
hill or glimpsed the truth of your own heart in
a stone blockaded window or brought to you like an
inviting sunset only in a sound dream. These things always
hurt, but still they will chide you for not playing
the latest game as it is written down. The one
thing they hate above all others is when someone doesn't
believe in their Holiday spirits. I should know. If what
the sea is when the only other person you can
be with who doesn't care about your impending health issues
because in the moment you are together there is only
the issue of true happiness and how to spend it
wants nothing more than your company at any given time.
Let's go together to that spot. I know what loss
is —an ancient city, a cricket's leg, a circle. And
above all that, a great swirl of birds doing nothing.
The Search for Falling Streamers
by Darryl Price
I search for the music, but I get in the
way. I search for the music, but I don't know
why. I'd like to get rid of this aftertaste. Replace
it with the stink and noise of something burning in
just this moment and nowhere else, a candle of our
own choosing. These things are all like small vacations taken
on the wings of moths. By morning you have to
swear to yourself that they were real and not something
you heard against the pillow as you were nodding off.
I search for the music, but all I get is
an ache that punctuates my thinking like a sailboat so
far out to sea all I can see is my
belief in sailboats wrapped up in some glittering spot on
the bouncing horizon like a long forgotten dream. You can't
keep calling that a lie. It's more than that, although
the definitions do seem to dance through the dawning curtains
like falling streamers, one after the other, until you'll take
any one of them over all of them at once.
I search for the music, but it keeps reminding me
that it no longer resembles the living, so what am
I to do with all these leftover shells? I don't
want to start a hut at my age. You've seen
it all before anyway. The sea coughs up its tablets
to anyone willing to swallow them, but it makes no
guarantee to the bridesmaid. Perhaps an alliance of some sort—
between skin and sky? No, that's been done. The only
thing that ever accomplished was to peel away the top
layer of meaning and leave everyone feeling raw about the
latest same old weather we're having. No, we're going to
have to do better than that. The poem we're in
deserves its own music. And that means we have to
get up and dance to whatever noise makes us happiest.
All rights reserved.
When I say we've come this far, who is the we? Am I just talking to myself or to anyone who enters the words and travels with them? And who are the ghosts? At some point in time it will be me, us, them. But the poem has a particular story to tell. I just want you to know that overtime it all changes--because that is the nature of things. It all depends on how you look at a thing. From your own precipice or your own vantage, the story remains being told back to you in your own language. How you listen is all up to you.