Friday, December 22, 2006

rules

night-blooming jasmine finds me anxious, rounding down
through your summered window
too heady too fantastic for this indiana boy
forgot why i ever drove my studebaker
breaking on the corn fields, sliding loops
maybe drunk on fresh tobacco leaves
leaving brown county

i said explanations are everything, i said
spanish wine can lead to fame
when i'm given over to backroom rousings
asking for some inspiration, begging nickels
i said a lot of things in those rambled days
wearing my old red jacket, orange cummerbund
barking in new orleans

when it's time to sell your soul, look for bargains
i sew extra pockets, deep with hidden places
quick fingers sharp eyes slow talk, hypnotize
hold the air very still and found objects float
i amaze these strangers so they'll give me gems
bits of gold strands of platinum
are you jealous
?

jabber or yammer or generally obfuscate
but never leave behind unforgotten memories
rouse and dazzle then wipe the teacher's slate
it's all in a circus but i don't accept checks
these momenti mori are for silver boxes
made to order cash demanded smithy signed
are you listening
?

but now i have a window of my own
where i can sit to count my newfound secrets
where i can howl and make a jitterbug
talk to the old man asleep in my tree
these are the rules of a life well tended
once you've learned the steps from here
to there

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