Friday, July 10, 2009
Driving out of Appalachia
It is one of these nights when you walk around town like a somnabulist; You may as well be in a surreal ballad out of Bob Dylan.
You hand in your ticket
And you go watch the geek
Who immediately walks up to you
When he hears you speak
And says, "How does it feel
To be such a freak ?"
And you say, "Impossible"
As he hands you a bone.
And something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones ?
Dylan was probably talking about his half-confessed gay side. Ah if only things were that simple.
Seems that just around the corner, Somebody dressed in black just handed me a bone, and the dude was carrying something else. It looked exactly like a scythe.
Ah, those half-hungover states on a full moon. You swear your can see around corners and realizations spin all around you---parallel worlds dangerously careening, spilling out of half-completed novels, poems, songs... You long to suture together all the perceptions, for you know you will not be in this state again, and it is certain that this incredible reality -unreality will be gone by tomorrow.
My editor says, You should write when you get like that.
Write? I can't tie shoelaces on this full moon. The simplest task is like, my, sailor friend says, "Like trying to insert a strand of spaghetti up wildcat's ass.
Ones age doesn't help either. You're halfway in the past as you approache what might be laughingly referred to as your future. You are in London, you are in Mexico Cilty, you are in Seven Islands, Quebec, chasing seals...You are in the Air Force, and swear, as you take a drink our of the flask you now caary , that you buddies are still all around you and you are rejoining them at the Airmens Club for that final drink. It is thirty years later, and you are picking up the conversation where you had left it.
Parallel universes. Oh that time of the first solo. Flying high and singing Hank Snow...That big eightwheelr comin' down the track...
A younger,, better looking Ivan walking away from the old one who had gotten lost in the hilbilly mountains of Pennsylvania.
Old Ivan walking down the hillside. There are mountain folk in the valley, cooking something over an open fire. "We see you guys, guys like you, walking or rolling down the mountain all the time. Last night, we found a Chinaman. Were going to eat him. They are so clean."
How is it that everybody gets lost coming out of Harrisburg PA?
...Because the road goes around and around the same mountain, and you always end up back at Harrisburg, after even a hundred miles and unless you find the Interstate you'll be like the man in the MTA song, "He will ride forever in the streets of Boston, he's a man who never returned."
Lots of time to review your life when lost in Appalachia.
Oh, what a fine old, better looking self had left me and gone downt the mountain first. The leisure suit with elbow patches, the full head of hair, the Wallabee shoes, the sure gait. We need some class around here, the barmaid had said at a watering hole I'd checked out in Newmarket, Ontario.
Now too long in the States. Yerassisgrass. You ain't got no class. You got pimples on your ass.
Ah, Pennsylvania on a full moon. Past the places where they had lit the fires on the road, past a depresed dog, past a Sycamore tree. Picking up a hitchhiker. Pick up any hitchhiker!
"For God's sake, tell me how to find the Freeway!