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Jan 2015
I am wandering in the grove.
From out of the darkness
Christopher John appears perched
on an old ash stump
giving a speech about Robert Mitchum
and his performance in Farewell, My Lovely.
I want to say "right on",
but my voice only whimpers.
He doesn't notice me in the shadows.
I close my eyes and his voice fades to a whisper,
then nothing.
My thoughts drift along to pictures of liberty concerned porcupines.
I am wandering in the grove.
Against the shady walnut
Elby Marcellous husks the meat from a shell
and tosses it to his canvas shoed feet.
"You ought'learn a trade kid, it'll save yer ***."
His mouth never moves.
A *****, navy blue sweat suit; fruit of the loom.
Hundreds of construction paper stars
glued to a bedroom wall,
and a legacy of tall tales and unrequited favors
for the train hopping rambling man.
Comeback Jack, come back Jill.
I am wandering in the grove.
My house slippers were not the best choice of shoes.
There is plenty of mud from the gather dew,
and the rocks are jagged and unforgiving.
The Sylvan's planted the trees here,
Roger and I dug the holes by hand,
Roberta watered them each with care.
The Eastern-kin cut a lot of them down
to help feed their Dionysian pyres.  
At least they left the mulberries,
so the birds still get their colors in the spring.
The songs need the full prism to translate properly.
I am wandering in the grove.
There she is.
My feet were tugging me due west the entire time,
I could feel it.
And there she is,
underneath the sycamore like a sore thumb.
I want to cry, I want to run,
but the song comes crooning out.
It is our instinct to dig our nails in
and tear each other apart from the bone,
but we sing the refrain, paralyzed,
feet tied to the ground with pyrite bands.
red, orange, yellow
I'm seventeen, long-haired, and screaming my lungs out.
green, blue, violet
I'm throwing verbal punches from sixty-two miles away.
red, orange, yellow
There's no where to be, and no one to impress.
green, blue, violet
Two cities weave troubling stories well.
Everything shifts to ethereal indigo,
things shake around a bit, but nothing seems to be any different.
I awake, rid of my flaxen shackles, but bruised.
The scent of thirteen perfumes linger in the breeze.
I am wandering in the grove.
A quilt tied to my neck for a cape,
serves as a warm shield against the cold night.
I found a rusty lantern, half-filled with oil and
with working wick, I venture on.
There is a crunch of brown-red leaves with every step
that I take in song-less stride.
The moon is new, the deer are charged in estrus.
Every creature I happen upon is speaking
in some strange tongue to which I cannot comprehend.
I try to motion that my hunger has become dire,
but no eyes are lifted, no responses given.
"Hurry now, no time to dawdle,
we have to make it to market before
they sell all of the livestock, and the farmers
decide to call it a day; no naive pockets."
"That rotten boy was a **** from the placenta,
and his mother was a crystalline chimera
made from chemicals in one of those zygote-vats.
Nothing was natural from that household; that bloodline."
"The day will come when we need a place to go,
but we can't ever go down the winding path
or Mama-Bog will come crawling out of the mud
and take away your sister like she did Papa."
"My eyes saw what I would never believe again;
the town was gone. Not destroyed, not missing,
not packed up and on it's way, but gone.
The **** place had never been there to begin with."
"There was once a planet between Mars and Jupiter
that was the home of a peculiar race of fungus.
The planet was bombarded by a multi-nation nuclear strike
when the fungus was found to secrete [OMITTED]."
"No, my sister left about three months ago, mister.
Said she was headin' into the city to try and get a job waitressin'.
If she were to just up and leave the quadrant she'd say something,
or at least update her ping location on her bio-input; sheesh, guy!"
I am wandering in the grove
and the trees are weighed down with ripened fruit.
Muninn and Huginn take flight.
Tap on the stained glass windows of the cathedral
as if the hounds were nipping at your heels.
There was a time when wings alone were enough
now the game has change, the cards disguised.
No direct line to the big man.
Tyler Lynn Pulliam
Written by
Tyler Lynn Pulliam  Niantic, IL
(Niantic, IL)   
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