Friday, July 21, 2006

Billy Blood and the Hijackers of Time

At the campfire, he played guitar and sang
until the last beer was drowned.

Against night’s blinds, cigarettes were fireflies
dancing languid cymbal-brush waves.

Wind-scattered cormorants slept as far as Hope Bay;
an owl cut the Milky Way in half.

‘Once upon a time,’ he thought—‘once upon a time in the spider’s
web of politics and guns; high tide, rogue moon—

once upon a time on dusty streets, in raucous cafĂ©’s
where 60’s hobos waited for the last milk wagon

out of time, searched for Eden in wood-lots,
spaceships and permafrost—once upon a time.’

He walked the path to his car, placed the guitar in the trunk
and wrapped himself in the night’s sentences.

Paragraphs pooled against parking-lot lights. ‘The world is
an airport, each plane departing events.

I need a chair on which to sit, a book to read,
but every book is copyrighted by me.

Planes leave erratically,
ignore every schedule.’


Peter Garner said...

Can I nit? Great. Thanks. ;-)

I think you mean "cafes" (without the apostrophe)

Did he really "place" the guitar in his trunk? Sounds weird all alone. I'd hear "placed" with some sort of adverb, or else maybe something more casual, akin to "chucked" (but more poetic ;-)

And why not simply "I need a chair to sit on"?

For me, the poem works really well for the first 5 or 6 couplets, but it looses steam after that. Especially like stanzas 3 & 4. "an owl cut the Milky way before falling" is a really nice line.

H. W. Alexy said...

Thanks Peter, appreciate the comments. This one has been a struggle. It's something a bit older I had at work and took another stab at.

I do agree, the end falls off. Most likely because I'm still looking for the ending.