if I walk for a while
I can get out of the city,
the chaotic place
echoing from the causality
of all of the wire skeletons
and every silhouetted structure
painted against the sky.
the night burns a brighter dark
than the shadows of skyscrapers,
and the architecture is an oily black
droning a metallic buzz
that sticks to the road
and the people that cross it
with cars and shoes
so they remember where they are;
drop their inspiration
down storm drains and gutters
and forget the words
they worked so hard to find again,
searching their closets and dressers
for eloquence they can't remember
tucking carefully under their pillows
just the night before
or was it a month?
I can keep going for hours
watching mile signs pass--
reading them with no reason:
mile 337, 338, 339--
feeling the road beneath my feet
writhe like snakes in its unevenness
and turn to dirt and pebbles
that keep pace with my steps,
******* into boulders
that roll slowly forward--
but I leave them behind
in whirling eddies and clouds of dust
kicked up by my trudging
and the sighs of wind.
the signs are becoming infrequent.
they skip numbers now as I pass -
surely 764 doesn't come after 749 -
I can't see the old buildings anymore
and all of the buzzing people
are safe in sound, far away
too far from the mile 764 sign
to hear my heaving breath
or my beating heart,
but I can hear them both.
the last mile sign is scratched off,
the number on it replaced by silver:
crisscrosses and a crude, scrawling zero.
below the mile sign is nothing -
a steep drop ends the ground,
swallows the snowball boulders
and signals my rest.
here I sit and dangle my legs;
I lean against mile zero
and stare into whatever it is
stretching out forever before me.
this is where the storm drains empty
and all of the inspiration pours out,
I've decided, like surging rainwater.
beyond the last mile is an ocean,
troubled, violent waters in the distance
but almost mirror-like at the shoreline,
so far under my feet
I can barely see it.
is this a dream?
one grows tired of dreams
and yearns for sleep.
the boulders groan forward,
hurling themselves one by one
off the edge to the water--
they fall quietly and are no more.
I want to follow them.
I close my eyes,
push off of the sign,
fall quietly as a rock.
for a moment I am open,
****** into beauty and inspiration,
my lovely splurge of hyperactive thought
and then I wake up,
return to the city that buzzes
with useless words
and lost musings.
my shoes are where I left them.
I decide to slip them on -
I know if I walk for a while
I can get out of here -
one grows tired of sleep
and yearns for dreams.
I wrote this one after a period in one of my literary doldrums. (one of those times when every word I write sounds unoriginal and fake and I can't stand anything I come up with--not fun) but this kind of describes how my mind works when I do write well.