Sunday Morning Song

Elizabeth Cotton picking and singing Freight Train.Turns out this was the first song Lucinda Williams learned to play.

{Hither and zither, the sheet music “shows you which notes to pick”.

Giggle.

None of the clocks on my appliances match

the time displayed on the screens of my devices.

Because moments changed

Over night,

As if by magic.

The practicality of protracted wakeful periods during daylight hours.

The associated productivity increase.

You can get a lot of work done, outside, when you sleep all night

And only become conscious when the sun is up.

But, you can learn a lot by staying up all night and sleeping through the day.

My alarms continue their incremental resounding.

Like they do when I gotta work the restaurant.

But, not today.

Today

is my

off day.

/

[clears throat]

Al(l)right…

/

I let

the alarms

keep

going

off

/

Freight train,

Freight train,

runs so fast

/

I do strange things with my sleeping.

An alarm set at 3:33 a.m.

To force me awake to immediately resume sleeping.

I easily become lucid in dreams this way.

At the very least, it consistently improves my dream recall.

/

Please don’t tell what train I’m on.

They won’t know what route I’m gone.

/

I sleep upside down,

time

to

time.

Bed properly remade

Clean sheets

But with my head at my feet.

Pillows at the wrong end.

Feet by where a head usually is.

/

Place the stones at my head and feet

Tell them all that I’ve gone sleep.

/

I wake,

again,

thirsty.

Flit to the kitchen.

Make the mistake of reading poetic words

And I feel my heart beat.

Like the water had actually been coffee.

From The Book of Hours (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Now the hour bends down and touches me

with it’s clear, metallic ring:

my senses tremble. The feeling forms: I can—–

and I grasp the malleable day.

Nothing was complete before I saw it,

all becoming stood still.

My eyes are ripe, and whatever they desire

approaches like a bride.

Nothing is too small: against a lovely background

I paint it large and lovingly

and hold it high, and I will never know

whose soul it may release…

The Poetry of Rilke. ISBN: 978-0-374-53271-0

Sharply Honed

One is not obligated to the obliging one.

Heads.

Something bespoke is not beholden.

Taíls.

Trail heads.

Heady tales.

What is my secret?

To appear as though I have a sweet, secret.

This smile whispering to you, making you wonder:

what produces it,

it comes from the desire to make you believe that

í know something that you do not.

To make you wonder until

you must inquire,

“What makes her grin in that

small, lips-closed and

pressed-pursed way?”

To make you want to wipe it off my face,

if you cannot know.

Howl this only makes my grin grow.

Ask me in private, and you will see my upper lip

arch into a sinister snarl.

Because there is no one else t/here.

No one to save you, or overhear the

sound of the feral ferocity,

whose volume keeps rising in my harbour.

Silly beast, it is true:

You are brut(e).

You came for me.

You come to me,

to slay the dragon

stalking me; but, you

now see how it wraps itself around me,

slickly leather wings folding around my shoulders as does a shawl.

See how I play with and stroke the tips of its scaly wings?

It is my shadow companion.

My gossamer wings keeping it warm.

The fire of its breath keeping my second set of wings, steely knives, sharply honed.

This is the power of having an open secret.

Í have nothing to lose by revealing myself, but

you have everything to gain if

í do.

A hallow on the high street.

I arrive at the restaurant through the back door.

I walk through the kitchen into the back office to drop off my coat and purse.

A book of poems by René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke sits on the employee table. I know it has been dropped off for me to take and read.

But, there is no note and no one says anything of it.

I do not bring it up.

The community blocks off the high street this evening.

No cars are allowed. Only hoards of costumed pedestrians.

The restaurant is booked. Chock full of reservations.

We are situated in the heart of the affair.

The previous owner, who retired two years ago arrives

to distribute candy with the new owner.

I introduce myself and

open with: so you released this place two years ago?

Yup. After twenty one years.: he shrugs.

Did you found the joint?

No. We inherited/bought it from the previous owners.

Was it called the same name when you took over, or did you change it?

Yup. It was called by the same name.

Do you want some hot tea to take with you? It is cold out there.

I want a glass of chardonnay at exactly seven o’clock, when this ends.

I make a sticky note reminder and post it where it will continue to catch our bartender’s eyes and thus,

Attention.

The seemingly ancient regulars begin arriving. None of the regulars made a reservation

for

Tonight.

Every reservation includes a note: window table requested.

Specters at a feast, watching the separate feast of the youngest generation,

through our looking glass.

The tables have been rearranged. The layout of the floor altered to allow more tables to be in front of the huge frame windows.

I intuit how unwelcomely our regulars perceive this change.

Understand the regulars eat every night here and have done so for over a decade.

Well, I suppose we’ll sit at this table. We want to watch the trick or treaters.: they huff, already walking towards the desired table.

In anticipation of this, i have placed placards on tables reserved for those who called ahead.

It bears their name and time of arrival.

I fear this one is reserved. I can seat you here or here. Anywhere there is no placard.

But, we never call ahead: they protest.

A lot of people did: I say.

I think: how do you not know what to expect tonight? You have been eating here for decades.

None of the reservations do I recognize.

The aura of the restaurant becomes maroon instead of its usual sunset orange.

{I hear a whisper say: tulpa.

I whisper: heyoka reads, tulpa.}

An exasperated, decorous but uncostumed, regular flags me over.

She and her companion dine with a couple I have not seen before.

[Trans. They planned to impress their friends here, this evening.]

She has been painstakingly doing panto. Craning her neck, trying desperately to espy the youngbloods in the street.

Yes, Misses ______?: I say.

I don’t know any of these people you have given the good tables to. All these people made reservations?: she accuses.

Yup. They all did. And, they all specified they prefer a window seat. You know, I don’t recognize any of them either, yet something led them here. Kind of magical, huh?

If those people leave, can we move to their table?: she responds.

Perhaps.: I allude, walking away.

These reservations are specters of the feast of the specters at the feast of future ghosts.

To them, i am tonight’s hostess.

Like them, I remember I have died before, will die again, and

I forget to remember it.

I will wake up.

I will fall asleep.

I will sleepwalk.

I will lucid dream.

I will remember to not forget that I am going to fail to remember

Again and again.

In delicious, concentric, Socratic circles,

Ever issuing out to the ether.

Dream of cloaks.

Í think í awake to the feeling of faint fingertips tracing my stermum.

Í jolt and suddenly say: í want to write for you.

He says: you do that already, yes?

Yes, but í mean to say í want to write to you.: í say

You are not conscious, yet, aurora. Slow down.

Let me trace your collarbone and the ligaments that pronounce from your neck. Let me delicately pinch that sweet Adam’s apple in your throat.: í say.

He says: Anything to stop you fidgeting with your fingertips.

That’s why í keep this cord wrapped, seven times, around my left wrist. Í play with knotting it.

He says: I know knots. I also know that you loosely bind your wrists together with it when you sleep.

Sometimes, because í am curious and desirous of that which no-one has done to me.

He says: I know.

He asks: did you dream last night?

Yes.

Tell me the story you saw…

Í am in a pub by the shore. Minimal decoration. A few pithy sayings adorn the walls. The wood of the floor and the glass installation behind the bar is the crowning aesthetic detail. There is the one drunk guy. The level of toleration he receives suggests he is a bar fixture, as well.

There are, perhaps, seven tables total, yet there are multiple hostesses. They sit at a service area by the front window, giggling in hushed voices and rolling silverware into cheap, paper napkins. Bohemian Rhapsody plays.

Alone and a’sat at the bar’s counter drop, í drink my beer too quickly.

It gives me goosebumps and a head rush.

The chandelier is double-sided and made of eighty, clear, glass beer bottles with candles burning inside. Í count them up and think: í must be back in Electri-city, where there is only candle light.

It is nearly charming, but the staff is in their own world.

Bad service kills the ambience.

Í see eight people sat around a large rectangular table.

That’s my group: í think.

Í rise and find my way into the only unoccupied chair.

As í lower myself into the chair, a courier enters the pub. Wearing a solid black cloak; the hood pulled so far overhead, no face or form is visible.

The courier strides to me and hands me a parcel wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine.

Í take it.

No words.

The courier turns and walks out the door.

Open it: urges my table mates.

Í do. Inside is a hooded robe. The colo(u)r of burnt sienna. There are stars and slivers of new moons in col(u)ors nearly unnoticeable.

The others at the table clap and cheer, like this is important. Like í have earned it, somehow.

Like they already knew and had planned this as a celebration.

Í leap to my feet, having, still, spoken no words.

Í run out the door. Í look wildly up and down the street.

Who was the courier? Í must know.

This is no time for celebration, this is another moment of testing.

Í feel my heart pound.

Í want to be scared but there is no time; so, í imagine

Í am a beast, a wild animal.

A junkyard bitch set to strike and kill.

And, the adrenaline becomes ichor and not poison.

Then, í woke up to sensing your fingers on my sternum: í tell Him.

Joni Mitchell-Moon at the Window (1998)

No rights: homage to a song worth sharing.

About the ghosts.

I wrote a lot today.

You are good at what you do.: Æ says.

What do I do good?: I ask.

Being yourself: is the reply.

Thank you kindly. I’m the best at being me. Nobody does me better: I giggle.

Ghosts of stories yet to be born.

Fetal.

Feral.

A deep Joni cut.

~

/”It takes cheerful resignation
Heart and humility
That’s all it takes,”
A cheerful person told me
Nobody’s harder on me than me
How could they be
And, nobody’s harder on you than you

Betsy’s blue

She says “Tell me something good!”
You know I’d help her out if I only could
Oh, but sometimes the light
Can be so hard to find
At least the moon at the window,
The thieves left that behind

People don’t know how to love

They taste it and toss it
Turn it off and on
Like a bathtub faucet
Oh sometimes the light
Can be so hard to find
At least the moon at the window,
The thieves left that behind

I wish her heart

I know these battles
Deep in the dark
When the spooks of memories rattle
Ghosts of the future
Phantoms of the past

At least the moon at the window,
The thieves left that behind
Is it possible to learn
How to care and yet not care
Since love has two faces
Hope and despair
And pleasure always turns to fear
I find
At least the moon at the window
The thieves left that behind
At least they left the moon
Behind the blind

Moon at the window/