1991, New York City, poetry

New York City pt 1-3

I
There is darkness
has been for days, maybe years.
So there is darkness and dreams;
yes the dreams,
freshly painted shapes and shadows that had been,
but will disappear when he wakes.
As he tries to recall what just happened,
something sprouts from the corner of his mind.
Who was he? Or where?
He lies and waits
then just slightly he realizes
something was gone.
It falls away and he remembers
the song of his self.

It’s a strange feeling
to wake up
not knowing who or where you are.
It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain.
but he enjoyed those moments.
This is how it felt to be a soul:
traveling from dream to dream
in search of something
anything
except darkness.
And when it wakes up,
the soul’s immediate joy:
light.

II
Father, we live among these people,
eat, drink, laugh, and joke,
Try to be one with them;
and for awhile we are.
We thank you father,
for showing us what life can be,
without ghosts and their tearing words,
and with the warmth of love;
but now it is gone
and we know only anger and pain.
But we breathe and feel
the drums vibrating the walls around us
and waking us up.

Father,
Great Sun,
look
we dance under your eyes
at your feet.
These lives,
our great songs,
the paintings of our lives.
Listen, please, it’ll make you laugh
until your stomache comes out of your mouth
and dances with us.
And Father, for your stomache, we give you our hearts,
our creations,
our ghosts,
for we know they are really your children
and us just a dream
to gather them together.

III
The sun pulls my eyelids open and reminds me of this world.
The bright beams pierce through the shades,
passing over our two naked forms,
and flooding the brick wall.
But if there was no sun?
There would be no shadows,
just dreams
and the dead.
Cities are filled with the dead, living dead,
walking about, trying to understand how to be alive.
A generation that has no one to turn to.

The cluttered dreams perish,
leaving only a crisp squinting glare,
and I know it’s morning.
When the darkness seeps back into the cracks and sewers,
burns away consciousness,
I find myself sitting on the edge of the mattress.
A bank of fog comes up from the dirt of the brain
and covers everything.
I fall back
brushing against her.
I try to remember
the dreams
the images,
but I can’t.
I pull myself back up,
glance at the clock, and realize,
I’m late for work.

Her eyes crack open,
she groans and pulls me to her mouth.
“Don’t go.”
“I have to.”
Her blue eyes stare at mine
and say goodbye.

There is a force
that draws me forward,
like a magnet across my life.
It’s as if I had no control of my fate.
I tried to fight
struggling against the changes,
but everything changes,
comes and goes.
I want to stay,
but I can’t
everything leaves,
including me.

I get out of the bed,
slide my pants on,
walk toward the door,
pick up my shirt, button it,
and look out at the city.

Outside my window
are tires,
shopping carts,
trees, concrete, bottles, cans, trash, people, cars,
traffic lights, wires, pigeons, telephone poles,
other windows, Coke machines, Pepsi machines…,
but the sun shines on it all.
Sparkles.
Life is not bad, just depressing sometimes.

I pick up my coat,
open the door and walk outside,
down the stairs,
and out into the streets.
Cold air blows through the man-made glass steel mountains,
congeals the snot in my nostrils and freezes my lips closed.
I cannot breathe.
My ears scream.

Every morning is like this:
a grasp at something that is real;
but is it real?
My fingers stick to the doorknob.
I yank ’em loose.
Pain is more understanding than love or friendship.

The streets hold something dear to me:
emptiness, disease, and wandering.
Where does it all lead?
No one has told me.
Some have tried,
but their answers are always inadequate and insufficient.
I have traveled across this nation of lust and greed.
Still I see no truths.
What I do know, seems meaningless.
The knowledge I have compiled in this brain is worthless.
I know nothing of the creation,
only man’s destruction,
pain,
and walls
covering vast segments of nerves and arteries.

Look, every morning,
I walk and talk with my ghosts.
I live this life
out in a world
that has no meaning,
no existence.
I do exist.
However different I am from them,
I do not feel that it is bad,
just different.
I must not be shy nor scared of it,
just accept it
the pains along with the joys.

I felt it when I was a child,
the horror of friends, those hurting ghosts.
They beat and chased me down the street to my house crying,
tore up my bike
and made school a living hell.
It was then that I learned fear:
cold hard emptiness.
My father was too drunk to care.
My mother too busy
working two jobs
and keeping a roof over our heads to even notice.

There are other memories,
but none as crisp and vivid as the first.
It was then that I realized
I stood alone,
and began not letting anyone close enough to know me
nor see how completely lost I was.
I grew up wandering around,
searching for answers.
“To questions that meant nothing,” I was told.
“rumblings,
meaningless dribble.”

I raise my head to face the sun;
gargoyles and lions cling to the brick walls around me.
At night these stone-eyed beasts come down on the city and feast.
I grab the handrail to the stairs and hop down into the subway station.

Subways are cold, damp, smokeless horror halls.
Graffiti covers the walls and trains,
gospels, prayers of a lost generation,
alienated, with no home but their hearts.

The brakes squeal, squeak, then groan to a stop.
I rise from the bench.
People quickly jerk up about me
push and slam me against the doors.

I spin
everything spins
faster and faster
hard to stand
I fall
lost.

Nothing.
No matter how hard I try.
Nothing.
I light a cigarette.
Nada.
Blackness.
The feeling is gone,
leaving me empty.
Nothing is left.
Nothing.
Black.
A want.
A dream.
A Sun-dried Carcass.

I’m trapped here
in a bed of snakes and spiders,
for hours I’ve laid,
feeling flesh wrap around me
and filling my stomache with webs.

Spiders’ legs curl up underneath their bellies
as if they’re praying to the gods for a breeze
to pick ’em up and take ’em away.
But that breeze will never come,
not when they want it;
because the gods are fools.

I know I might seem crazy
but I am not.
There are things I see differently than you, that’s all.

I light a cigarette butt
I found on the floor,
sit down and try to think.
Still nothing,
just minor subdued thoughts
form in my head.
The smell of blood
on the tip of a needle
colors
circle
around my head.

Skulls break under my feet
shrapnel flies into my stomache
twisting
I fall further away from you
forgotten half memories
of someone I never knew.
The memory fades
like a dream in the middle of the afternoon.

Dream,
who are you
to come and steal me?
See how when I put myself in you
all becomes spirit.
Trembling,
I can feel the rush as I get sick.
I find it hard to get motivated these days.
There is no peace in my stomache.
It fights everything I eat.

The subway cars pass by outside,
annoying me as
I try to write a letter
to explain how I feel.
But I can’t say,
what I want to say;
actually,
I really don’t understand
what’s going on in my head.
It seems sometimes that I, too, have become a ghost in this world,
living in dreams,
passer-bys.

How many times have I pulled myself out of bed
drained of meaning
promising myself not to die.
I must be able to deal with myself
understand my feelings.

Who am I?

Nothing but a word man,
putting images and feelings upon paper,
hoping someone someday would understand
what I’m saying
and not judge me;
because there’s nothing like a friend to listen
and than tell you,
your just pissing in the wind.

copyright 1991 Emory Laughing Wolf

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