She whispers my name... Only I can hear

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Disconnected

Lately I have been feeling ghosts calling to me
This is not a new thing
I often feel them – and so I stay in touch with the past
They do not want me to forget – for some reason

Jack Kerouac and Woody are still out there somewhere
On the road...
A dusty road has a smell – yes a taste even
When you get a face full of it

It’s a good smell – like earth and clay – primal, basic ancient smell
An aroma that stays with you – even now I can recall its bouquet
And the way it made me feel as a child:
Connected

On hot August afternoons so still
The dust hangs practically motionless in the air,
Too lazy to settle – too stubborn to fly away
Long after the sound of the old truck has faded into the distance
And lost in the buzz of the cicadas

As you walk this road – the dust sticks to you
It coats your skin like fine French talc
This is the dust that I recall from my youth

Crisscrossing rural upstate New York
Roads which connect farms and places long gone
Some end badly, leaving you in some abandoned field –
Or woods with increasing density of trees and decreasing interest to travelers

My dad lives on such a road
It passes his home – the last home - before disappearing into obscurity
Built to connect large and prosperous farms – growing hops and barley
They dissapeared long ago collapsing into poverty, finally abandoned
While America played with the idea ofprohibition
Thinking that we would somehow be more … pure
Without beer and hard liquor

Trees are the crops now –
Red Pines, Spruce, Ash and Maple
They don’t need allot of care – only time to grow
The road patiently waits to be of service again
The loggers will come – they always do

Every so often a curious motorist will pass through
Often with regrets over haven taken this route
Regrets which hang in the air with the dust
While a loud sputtering tells the tail
Of a muffler left behind somewhere back there
Up on the hill or perhaps on that long low stretch
More swamp than road in the spring

I remember riding in the bed of the old ’49 Studebaker pick up
Somehow that truck and the dust it stirred are still a part of me
My dad would take us on endless expeditions down these roads
Pointing out landmarks from the homes long gone

One hot August afternoon we followed such a road –
Very much like the one dad lives on, And on the same hill
The old Studebaker made its way to the bitter end
And there we found the property and summer hide out
Of The poet, Allen Ginsburg

Dad had taken us there to meet him – perhaps as some kind of pilgrimage
We had tried this before – but the house is hard to find
But this day finds us on his lawn – covered in dust
Allen speaks a bit about Jack, Woody and the road
But mostly talks about the weather and the trees which surround us
Topics like these along with greetings and introductions are exchanged for a time

I didn’t pay much attention
I was eight or nine at the time
Poetry to me was simplistic
Politics were of little concern

The house is not much more than a shack
Typical of the homes around there

I remember he served us lemonade
I remember the dust
The road calls
Ghosts of Jack
And Woody...

Reconnected

2 comments:

Aikidosan said...

hey! i did inspire you!

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

My memories are some of my best assets