until the lights hit the banks of the roadside,
blurting whiteness into the driver’s eyes,
it had not revealed its presence in the night.
at the wheel since L.A. mid-morning,
staring bleakly at the white
long since ceasing to distinguish colors and shades,
reacting to only black and white.
recognizing the significance in the blanch of
late night white,
that those uphill climbs around the curves
had brought them to the mountains
Slipping slightly, it slid over the median
into the glazed parking lot of the inn.
Sunny, bearded cowboy
singing in the bar
accompanied by his guitar,
wired for sound:
electronic Tumbling Tumbleweeds.
shabby dirty man alongside
white robed man with wool-hooded jacket, looking like
Jesus in Pomona, returning to Sambo’s
after turning heads by asking for five balloons
“I’m going to bag some heroin.”
a real bad effort to impress
Holes in the mountains.
Snow outside is real;
the cowboy has sung his song,
turned off the amplifier;
daughter, curled beneath the covers,
grand canyon, cowboys, and
white robed, doped up jesus in Pomona
and sleeping daughter in the snow.
- Grand Canyon, Arizona
- December 21, 1981
howling rage of age,
have i become a past tense?
or perhaps i always was
only i could not decipher
in the illusion of
the present tense.
well here i am now, baby,
wondering when the nickels
will cover my eyes
among the clods.
i don't find a great deal
anyone would remember me by
except the stone at my head.
Miss Peggy Lee once said,
"Is that all there is?"
or should be?
- Chula Vista
- January, 1989