The Safety of Breakers

by Darryl Price


I could put on some music, but it just

pushes me further away from you it seems. It

takes me out far beyond the safety breakers

and then introduces me to my own

splashing two-fisted fear of swimming. You can swim through

concrete—it doesn't have to be something

like a squishy pool of tears I'm told. That's all I'm

saying. Look, it's the motion you make that

attracts and/or repels the sharks. And there's

always tons of masked dolphins around to


make a big skittering difference in your

screwed-up courage to just staying alive, staying alive

to create a sharp contrast, even though

they will always represent their own kind of

hidden danger. Better to trust in the

sweet luck of hanging out with some nice blue whales, I

say. Still here we are in the middle of

something like a song again trying to

figure out a small chunk of the floating

mystery, better left unsolved—it has


more of a beautiful sheen that way, and

the raw potential for pleasure has yet

to shrink to the size of an atom. I

think I certainly could right now put on

some interesting new music for you, I mean

for us. As a matter of pretty fact,

I want to, but not for the reasons you

might try to nail me down to. I just like hearing

other human beings make this much noise together.

Even their attempts at soft noises pleases me. For


some unfathomable fun reason I can't deny, it

really cheers me up, well not always all the way up,

but it gives me a fine feeling of not

being so pinched in my own cramped seat, alone

in my own spinning head, so  let down inside my own limping heart.

I want out of that sleepy nest. Yet that's

about as close as I'm going to come to

naming a feeling for it I guess, but it must have to

do. I could put on some music and hum quietly

along. It's unlikely though that I will


get up and dance under any crazy

circumstance. Listen, I could put on some

music, and in a funny way, it might

even connect me back to you right now, but that

won't save us from our own bad judgements on

the nature of true art, or anything else that matters.

There are several non-essential things

I could say right now which are dumb and true.

I've eaten way too much cold to the touch chocolate

today. I've spent too much of my thin money. I've


spoken to people I barely know in fractured

sentences that made (absolutely) no

real sense to them, but sounded sincere, so

the music would be a good thick blanket of pretense

to crawl under and hide myself under

for the foreseeable moment while I

ponder what the fuck is wrong with me. I

could put on some music, but (really) all

I want to do is get my Bob Dylan

on and try to remember we're all still free to choose.  

Bonus poem:


Save the whales. Save the dolphins. 
Save the bored housewives.
Save my hands, so often cupped over the sorrow in
being alive. Save the beautiful 
made-up cherries of delight
I feel everywhere in your presence.
Save the sprawling landscapes

of late night cafeterias of the mind.
Save the often
 forgotten radios of our flying dreams.
Save the hand-printed love

letters of early morning light. Save the inexhaustible 
curiosity of a small interior poem of silence.
Save the naked air.

Save the Spanish tongue of Neruda.
Save the sparkle in
the brushstrokes of a Picasso. 
Save storm and the rainbow.
Save the North Sea. Save shadows. 
Save all hearts from
beginning to break again. 
Save the ripped apart sky from
the rain of so many angry bombs leaking inside. 
Save the secret handshake. Save the Pandas. 
Save the sea turtles. Save the roses. Save the last dance. 
Save the sailing boats and floating planes 
of melting romance. Save whatever makes

no sense. Save this feeling. Save the butterflies
with passionate, provocative kisses. 

Save the question of imagination. Save the end
of the poem until you really need it. Save the
world from itself. Save your wild goodbyes.
Save every word.