Friday, December 22, 2006


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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