Friday, November 22, 2013

Karl's ballad

He and I together again, 
back in the deep shrouded forest, 
communicating once more with 
the eternal prospect of nothingness.  

Old friends, reunited.
Cool cider in hand.
Laughing at everything, everyone,
plucking re-purposed sitars and harmoniums.

Any note will suffice, Johnny says.
Any method or schedule.
Sounds too easy, I comment.
It is, he says.  
That's the problem!
And then again, laughing wildly,
to the point where we fall to the earth
and have some slight trouble breathing,
so absurd and exhausting is this business
of wandering about with no clear destination.

Camping for a few nights 
near a gravel pit in St. Louis.
The old river, the floodplain,
the war memorial,
arches, animals,
insects, books, coffee, wifi- 

all such basic realities!
(Whatever that means.)
Not sure.

Spirals, coils, matrices, atlases.

Meandering alone along sandbars.

Tiny towns, some of them nameless,
if you can believe such a vertiginous prospect
in this particularly "weary unto death" day and age-


Johnny says: "Hey, Karl- let's go see 
what the 'next' vista offers!"
I agree- we pack foodstuffs, a few batteries,
the instruments, get in the car, feral, shivering, 
gradually pull back out onto the next 
unlit system of inter-states...

A lot of time passes.

We hover alone with our thoughts.

When we speak next, there's the distinct sense
that something has shifted in this part of the wilderness.  

He and I together again,
late at night,
toying with the prospect of mineral water.
An old issue, standard practice,
re-invested by the pure sentience of
absolute and semi-perfect circles of strangers.


It stays better longer that way,
the hand-painted sign seems to indicate.
We mull it over in solitude.
Don't wanna keep making the same stupid mistakes
for the rest of our ridiculous lives.
It's too easy, someone comments.
But this time, no "identifiable crisis."
We sigh, clear our throats,
sink back into even deeper pockets 
of urban blight and decay.

Unnamed, uncharted, understated, reflective...

(A little reluctant to admit that we had been 
at this precise crossroads 
just couple