"But first, baby, as you climb and count the stairs (and they total the same), did you, sometime or somewhere, have a different idea?
Is this, baby, what you were born to feel, and do, and be?"

-Kenneth Fearing

Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Approximate Answer


At eight the train pulls through, announced by its brutal horn.

The trail behind grows louder, the rumbling of the cars

against their tracks, a rough release of mourning.

I can’t ignore it where I am. I hear the alarm

as if it were on my nightstand. Soon it will fade

and I will go back to myself. I don’t deny that it’s hard

to say what that is. Nevertheless, we burn through days

as if there will always be more. Only, tonight I doubt

the number. I question the stars and even the haze

between us. My life must make that sound

I think, a train pulled over tracks, not by any grace

but rather force and fear of leaving something out.

So how do I answer you, how do I speak to evening’s face,

You ask where I go when my eyes elude you.

What can I say, when I don’t have a name for that place

that makes nowhere and here, at once, both true.

And why do I answer now, why, when you’re not even here?

Because the question wasn’t asked or meant strictly for you.

I was there and involved in the asking, so need to hear

where it goes. And now, because I am a part of everything,

I hear the church clock chime the hour and disappear

so cars in the street can be heard. And then he sings,

some drunk, up to a shuttered window, and the closing of doors

behind people coming home. But what do I bring

with my listening? Why have I not answered you before.

Where do I go? Where. Listen, a song is playing in the distance,

building to the clouds and crashing to the floor.

I get caught in it’s travels, turns, the interludes, the twists

and sometimes I truly believe that it won’t end,

because I am too beaten to even raise my fist.

I have had enough of mourning, and so pretend

that it doesn’t touch me. I watch where this is heading

as if it were the second act of a play I watch again.

Because it is. Still, I want to be surprised, instead

of always knowing how much will be lost

in between the sounds and what is said.

                                               -Brent Allard

Friday, September 10, 2010

September Drive


Everyone on the road tonight

is nodding at the wheel.

The darkness is a vapor settled on

the windshield. Headlights can’t pierce

the fog that swallows daylight, pulls

away the hours much too early.

I have this conversation with

myself. Night on the Everett

Turnpike will not listen; its silence, more black

than the tar. I’m wedged between shades of

darkness. From the passenger’s seat,

you trust me to know where I am

going and would listen if I turned

to you and said, “It’s dark tonight,”

or “I think I’ve been lost since

the morning I was born,” and if

I said “The night is a raven’s

eyelid, closed.,” tonight, on this road,

you could get it.

you’d give me a look that says, “No,

that isn’t crazy.” The other

cars traveling this stretch of road,

mercifully, are quiet, except

for their wheels pulling up against road;

another mile- another mile- another mile

towards home.

      -Brent Allard