Tuesday, September 20, 1994


       Un lungo errore in cieco laberinto.
                            To John Oliver Simon

This is just to say that enroute
to the emergency meeting I was crucially lost
in the philosophical distance over bilateral
distinctions between the left and the right
exits for MacArthur Blvd., on the Nimitz freeway
wondering why travel required the ghostly benediction
of five-star generals; the army vs the navy.
Mapless, having destroyed all evidence of you,
I toured the burnt stubble of the Oakland hills
(thinking I was south of the border),
searching for the lost gate to 680,
onramps to nuministic labyrinths spiraling me
through the umbilical treachery of tunnels and fault lines,
always away from the source—
and time unrolled like an angry fuse down Telegraph.

Yes, every cell in our bodies having changed,
I wondered what the lesson was this time,
until I walked in Tobey’s door to see you,
my azul minotaur; I found the arbitrary red lines
and blue highways on the funereal map of reprieve.
I’d dreamed of hunting with women
who made their home on these street corners
beneath the sign of the horned Artemis.
Blame it on the undercurrent ballistics of the Piscine moon.
I’ve held both ends of the thread long enough, ready
to flee the purgatorial darkness; your hooves
having scrawled treaties of abandonment in the dust—
enough to bury us—except for that
small, final harvest taken
before the fall.

Tender enemy, once we had no need of threads
or mapping codes. Once I fed you late apples,
we practiced flight beneath the carnelian moon
and the gates of the garden moved open.
Thousands of angelitos singing in the trees.
The Southern Cross offering us up
before the rising sun.

9/20-22/94 Fall Equinox
1995 Maverick, Terrapin issue

sometimes my notes are little poems all by themselves.

Saturday, September 17, 1994


               —for Sonny Lowe

This is just to say
I got it all wrong:
it wasn’t “Love, or money.”
A friend told me to choose
“Love over gold.”

Sure, love would be nice,
but I haven’t been off the farm so long
I can’t recognize a real gold mine
in a shade tree mechanic when I see it.
Getting my truck running again
is gold enough for me.

(For starters, such technical precision it took
smashing those solenoids with crow bars—
Perhaps more appropriate material
for matters of the heart.
Or is it faith?)

Yet we drink strong wine
from the shattered glass of courage,
and daily existence threatens
to run off at the mouth with a poem—
(the chances we each foolishly take).
Is there a Murphy’s Law for love?

Maybe Jim should’ve said,
“Wine over gold…” & just left
love out of the fucking equation.