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Posts Tagged ‘country’

So, Swannanoa.

We live (love) on a street off seventy, a pub at the corner and garden out front, was all boxed out when we got there. I am not a legal resident and the room I sleep in’s full of sweat.

Rent: a hundred dollars each month.

two sleep in one room. Fig’s got a twin mattress in a crawlspace full of windows. I’m in a room with another. It’s not my room, but I sleep there. The only bathroom connects downstairs with upstairs, and in that steaming loft three mattresses spread out on the floor, along with buckets of clothes and books and used alcohol containers. Our herbs have sprouted and live on the roof, fungus in the basement.

We pee outside to conserve water     and nothing stays plugged in. The fridge is full and faulty, leaking the floor as if it got up and moved during n ight. The washer shakes something awful, so that Fig sits upon it hoping the pressure will contain. Fig’s the sweeper and the swatter while everyone else is off to work.

Like anywhere else I’ve ever lived, I tend to walk. Yesterday I even strolled – (the heat of the day made impossible walking)

Small house is near to train tracks – one passes every night at 9:30, every morning just past seven. The rhythm of the in-betweens evades me, but I’ll learn them.

Anyway, I leave with bare feet normally, stepping careful on our gravel and hard plants drive. Past the pile of large refuse, including our old dryer, and out into the street. A pub’s to my left. Once when I was dropping our recycling behind there, the parking lot swarmed with bikers and their babes, their grey beards offset the hard glint of the leather on their backs, reacting too noon’s light. A church is to my right; one of something like seventeen in the neighborhood. Some separate buildings, some like old converted warehouses. Anywhere to worship in this valley, I suppose. This one’s Methodist.

Turning right towards the church and heading up the way. The train tracks lie ahead some couple hundred feet. On the left we come to once-existent sidewalk, now overgrown with weeds. A chainlink fence guarding so towering false mountain made of sand or some more toxic substance. Real mountains grace the skyline to the South, lushing and bumping elbows with clouds of pink late late evening, when the sun finally tires from some sixteen hours of shine. They are a painting. The mountains are a work of art, there, cradling and tossing cards, home and family for whomever cares to look up and feel caressed in them. And nothing lines them but trees

and ten thousand plants made for healing.

Quickly, come to an antique store playing Marley and selling short and longs. It’s open some ten hours out of a week, and postulated to be a front. Turning right and walking still, here’s a house where it’s lored some dready’s make glass pieces and sex toys. But all we’ve ever seen out front is a mass of beer belly’s, babies, and bags of chips. People who don’t take kind to my braless wave and whisper something neath their breaths. There are toys strewn around the walk and a mystical eye paints above an entrance, infinity at its depths if you stop for looking.

Come forward and on your left is a photograph waiting to happen. The funeral home is dated like sixties and colored cream. A matching, vanilla hearse reclines outside the door, probably still smelling of flowers and gasses past if you open the back. A collection of soul-paths within there, for sure, but uncontaining. Just a reservoir in pass.

And the chocolate factory joins the funeral home, its dumpster locked but accessible, and containing huge blocks of the bitter stuff. Kitchen clean and pristine, only seen when an onlooker’s curiosity moves them to jump and peer past covered plastic on windows.

Here’s a Baptist church. And another just across the street, called “Free Will.” Back yonder was the “PLACE: People Living According to Christ Everywhere” or something to that effect. An old sign practically faded floors some trees on the roadside: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and Thou Shalt Be Saved!!” such emphasis for any fool who knows otherwise. One church’s named only “Truth.”

Keep walking and the factories/warehouses fade to back. I live amidst trailers and cozy houses screaming “NO TRESPASSING” through dollar-store signage. All times of the day, people are out. In their yards, on their porches. They sit and whittle. And drink. And read. They simply set awhile, with or without company. They listen to the television blaring on just inside the door, where someone else sits in the dark of their old shelter. They smile at me when I wave at them. There’s an air of suspicion at the same time a complete lack of pretention welcomes any visitors. A sense of ownership on their land.

These folks,           they work and long hard day

everyday

they come home

and they set. Taking solace and comfort in the simplicity of that life and the sweaty sweetness of the grass and birdsong surrounding. The hollow sounds of highway echo off the loving arms of mountains and punctuate with the toot of any train pass.

I think I’ll take up smoking.    The sweetness of our back porch just welcomes such an act, in its lazy seeping way.

The poverty is such dogged comfort in this town. “I love the way the sun glints off the Harley Davidson building on the golden hour, as it starts setting near eight every night. She takes her loving drawn time, hardly disappearing completely til quarter to nine.”

This is where I live. We walk to the supermarket to pass the time and I teach boys about good beer. Rising bread. Running River. Bending in worship to the yard, its poisons in oils festering my skin in a way that’s itchy comfort

sex with nature.

Our neighbors, Betty and Ken, are retired. In all hours of the day, we can look off the porch and see them setting, screened in over there, with their parrot Amos and two cockatiels.

Betty makes us a strawberry shortcake. The house and more gain to consume most of it before the ants claim it as their own. We make some brownies with peach and blackberry preserves Mary bottled last August, and make through the yard to deliver them across the way. They invite us in, refer to us as “you’uns” and sacrifice their chairs seen as they’d been ‘settin’ all the day.

Betty loves the brownies. She congratulates us on them over and over, a large crumb quivering there on her starched collar through when we get to going. They love to have us visiting and tell us all about the church and it’s Welcome Table. They’d like to see us there, I know. Refer to us as “their college friends.”

This is where I live right now. And it is where I want to be. Not sure why, but it is. There is something so comforting about the simplicity of living by these definitions. Even something freeing about it, though I wonder to find more of what life’s true about. Know?

And even though my passion is in some city so far North and opposite of here

i want this slow crick’s current to take me and give me success

the mountains like a support

like a cot I’m constantly on, suspended firmly, even by rickety metals and tarp.

The flame of him is here, always anyway. In the Skeeter Beeter candle next to me at night, as someone muses to my right about losing faith. I look to the flame and see the mandalas we observed in the sky one day a whole equinox ago. I see some green and smile knowing which chakra is winking at me from that vial. In the flame,

I see some squirming exhibition. Writhe.

Like pain. Such incredible burning pain and exaltation

simultaneous

that’s what I felt with him all of the time. Can a life be spent burning? It’s a raucous and beautiful choice. It’s a hard choice. Our fires scorched and stoked by winds continuous

I wonder when I see him

will it be the same.

In the meantime, I tell the boy losing his faith not to worry. Sometimes we can’t hold on to faith comfortably. Sometimes we forget to bless our food. Sometimes discipline is impossible and we begin to crave

and that’s glorious. That is life

making extremities from the subtleties

and getting poetry all on the way.

My friend says soul mates are temporary, because the pain of them is too hard to bear for long. I am not ready to believe that

or make a choice to let go of the love I hold on to

and still caress dearly

each every day.

All I can do is concede to “we’ll see.” Maybe that means letting the crick take me

maybe it means becoming more moral and stringent in what I let make me

maybe it means tumbling back into full arms is imminent

.

In the meantime,

I choose to be here because I fear being elsewhere

and because I’m beginning to know here

and because the drum circles in town every friday are tribal.

I choose this electric youth

and matters lessons holding me safe

even if it means struggling when this passes.

I am so damn comfortable on this flimsy cot, anyway. Daisies licking at its corners

and dreads not staying out my hair. Another tribute,

my heavy music friend,

to you

and how much I love you

still

dear always

now.

Carry it in the air

on these sopping southern currents

catch is in between your teeth

let it fill those spaces

first in your mouth

and traveling

through twixts yon bones.

I love

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