Friday, August 1, 2014

zen gringo tango

nothing translates to poetry more easily than a stroll to the supermarket a July
evening to buy a pint of cardamom ice cream & the moon a waxing rind in

this sky that can’t decide to be night or dusk so the brushstrokes of clouds in
neutral colors tinged peach become an odd inverted lake painted in water-

colors by my great aunt in Massachusetts in July 1966 i.e. toward the end of a
life—this afternoon vegan sushi for breakfast at 1:00 pm in the hospital café &

sticky rice crumbles to white multiplicity when the chopsticks' pinch as if this
were all so many seeds & seeds of being in a muddle of ginger/soy/wasabi—

cumulus clouds to the east I want to say a bouquet of smoke blossoming off
Mt Hood’s dormant snowbound volcano—because needless to say you weren’t

on any of the streetcars, not the lime green & blueberry blue one headed south not
the melon orange mango red one headed west—still on 6th Avenue

in the wake of the 4 line bus a summer breeze ambles past transparent as a
zero, aroma of blush-peach rose between its milk teeth—something about strolling

with you hand in hand at the edge of a photograph in which a great blue heron’s
poised on one leg in the backwater past the railroad & sweet pea & bicyclists &

not far to the northwest the Oak Bottom ferris wheel traces the all-encompassing
arc of Being definitively for all time & space & for all time & space &

hey that’s us breezing past chapped lipstick roses on a Vancouver Ave chain
link lawn as rush hour cars shimmer south— limitless desire limitless illusion—

we aren’t there actually plucking a rose that might be inscribed on a
forearm’s topography, veins, hair (vellus & terminal) — limitless desire

limitless illusion—will the ice cream melt in the midnight blue backpack
strolling home alone as I am past an orange-lit little league baseball diamond

Jack Hayes
© 2014

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