Sunday 1/27/2013

o body of threads and lint
and collected lines fretting
out distant galaxies
of kitchen air and white
gaseous lights foreign

        i wrote perhaps 2004

and now it is 2013, the laundromat
is 7 miles away by car   
       Pink Floyd's opening riff
"Wish You Were Here"
on the Hippo. Maybe you know...
                      Reminding me
this is California   Coast Highway
ONE we're on    and the crop rows
whiz by, dressed in polyethylene plastic
   (spelled "visqueen"), miles of it
   reflects afternoon light.

   "Ghost" spray-painted
on a propane tank; sand dunes
just the other side keep 
building, like waves, blowing in 
where once was mostly
   sand and low scrub bushes, cypress trees 
before Europeans with their
Manilla Men stumbled ashore

Now it's a town, "Marina."
Hitched to the military base
Fort Ord; closed down

     Did they get you to trade
     your heroes for ghosts?
     Hot ashes for trees?
     Hot air for a cool breeze? 
     Cold comfort for change?
     And did you exchange
     A walk on part in a war
     For a lead role in a cage

     ...Wish you were here

Tall yarrow grows under concrete
overpasses and on the berm
oracle sticks for the I-Ching
   --and I forage New Zealand spinach
   from my secret cache near
   the harbor--

foretold "The Pit" for me, or
something like. But here I am

Reservation Road; Lola's to get
dinaguan. And 'round the corner, Banh Mi
sandwiches and pho. Marina Eagle,
Ho-Wah Chinese Restaurant, 21 Black Jack
and Buzz & Lee's where Mortimer's
used to be
      so much tea, so many cups 
      at the Asian Market 
             (got some Pocky)
or jackfruit at the Pacific Asian.

Ganesha has his own
      little house atop a pole at Thai
      D'Anna, strung with yellow flowers. 
      Little pots of incense, plates 
            of bananas, favorite fruit
He listens    with those big ears

I'm not complaining
when we pull into the Cypress
Wash & Dry
       "pigeon pigeon pigeon! -- crunch!"
you say, pulling into the parking space
but waiting

            for it to fly away

Random lines from my bookshelf:

What about measure, I learnt:
Look in your own ear and read.
Nor wrest knowledge
           in no end of books.

Louis Zukofsky, "Peri Poietikes," Louis Zukofsky Selected Poems