Blues from the Runaway Railway
He seeks his old home
In her eyes
Like a vagrant.
– Voice croaking –
“Do you see that pretty painting?”
She spends one moment there
The second: vacant.
And he dies three times
In that waiting.
She’s the one who’s sick,
Yet he feels like fainting.
And then a bittersweet whatthefuck
As she starts coarsely repeating
– Mind fleeting –
“Pretty painting, pretty painting.”
I’m not much of a photographer, but fuck it.
Doesn’t taste good,
Does the job.
Kind of desperate,
End of movie.
Was a slob.
Just like alcoholics only need
The vodka – hold the vermouth –
And lawyers need technicalities
More so than the actual truth,
The people who’ve hit rock bottom
Only need help getting to the roof.
Best not be hangin’ out in that graveyard, son,
Even though it’s got grass and flowers.
Because there – in that graveyard – one
Remembered moment turns into hours.
It’s right there in that graveyard, boy,
Where you’ve been planting all the bodies.
Deep down in the dirt of that graveyard – joy
Is all boxed up with you hope and hobbies.
What the hell are you doing in this graveyard, man?
This is just another line you shouldn’t have crossed.
Do you think that visiting this graveyard can
Help you disinter some of what you’ve lost?
Well, now you’re a part of this graveyard, sir –
Though that doesn’t mean that you can make her
Come back, because on from your graveyard her
Life has gone, and you’re still just the undertaker.
He saw a mermaid beauty as a figurehead,
So to the bow of the ship her bound her.
And he sailed – hellbent – towards the setting red
In search for a storm to make them founder.
He spotted a typhoon that started whirling them in,
But then the mermaid broke free with a whip –
She sang “I cant understand or go down with a captain
Who would do this to his own ship.”
Hot fuck – do you feel it?
Goddamn – it sears and blisters.
But keep your lips on the grill, kid –
Char-cleanse your pallet of those kissed-hers.
“Okay, okay, but serious question – ”
“Go for it.” He was eager.
“Fuck, kill, marry -”
“Shut up, hold on, ” she sputtered out through laughter, “Okay, so,” laughing again, “Alright,” she takes a steadying breath. “So,”, she pauses. He couldn’t see her, but he thought he heard her adjusting her hair through the phone, “Bugs Bunny,”
“God damn i-“, he lowers the phone, “seriously?”
Chuckling, “Fuckin’ why?”
“Or -” she skips a beat, “Shit, I didn’t think this through!” she howls with what’s almost a cackle. “I don’t know, fuck it – the Yosemite Valley,” probably seeing a picture of it randomly in her unknown location some thousands of miles away.
“You mean… like the park? In California?”
“Ha! Sure, I guess.” She continues laughing while he lightly chuckles and ponders. After a moment:
“Fuck Bugs Bunny – because the carrots,”
“Marry the Lorax,”
“And I’d kill the Yosemite Valley.”
“Just to spite my spouse,” and with that they both launched back into those deeps coughs of dry joy that are considered the comic’s sit-ups. That was the one thing they never really lost. Contact? Sure, from time to time. Each others’ phone numbers? More than once. Sight of what they really meant to each other? Well, perhaps they never really had that in the first place. But they never lost that initial synchronization of what made them both laugh.
And that’s all that really mattered in the end – to him at least – just making each other laugh. But the problem with founding an entire companionship on jokes is that it becomes a tricky thing to restructure or renovate. When the basement concrete, steel support beams, mainline plumbing, electrical closets, furnace rooms, washer-dryer hookups, and slop sink are all built out of shooting the shit and trying to make each other smile for a moment – anything serious isn’t really compatible. You try to put a romantic furnace into room with walls made out of fond remember-whens that are insulated with scrap jokes (and a few tattered love letters, sure, but she doesn’t know that), and you know what happens?
Yeah. Hope you have fire insurance.
“Are you excited to come back?”
“Ah, well, yeah, I guess,” he was less eager now.
“Why so glum, sugar plum?”
“I mean, it’s only for a few days.”
“Yeah, but we’ll be able to see each other, ye know,” he could audibly hear he stretching, “have a few drinks,” stretching ceasing, “smoke some cigarettes,” he started smiling, “make a day outta’ it.”
He held for a moment. “Yeah, I – that,” clearing his throat, “that sounds nice,”
“Then nice,” she pauses to articulate, “it,” pausing again, “shall,” and a final time, “be.”
She had a coy kind of charm that was like arsenic, and it was the key ingredient in his favorite drink.
“Oh, nah, come on now,” he adjusts himself in his seat some several thousand miles away, “you know I’d fuck it up.”
“And how do you think you’d do that?”
“Well,” he holds himself – holds that fancy new furnace at the top of the stairs, “I’m just worried that I’m in love with you is all.”
The basement rumbles. “Oh.”
Just as there are fleas on rodents
And every protagonist has opponents,
She has words with which she foments
My dejection in my bleakest moments.
This tiny, talkative tingling
Is starting to seem
Like a gift.
Except the delivery date
Is a few days late
And it has packing-tape edges,
So it’s hard to lift.
Meeting may be random,
Fluke apparition, a lay-over jest.
Actually make a lot of sense,
Like romance is at its best
When it’s visiting