Almost to Cleveland

December 6, 2017

Start in second.

Boss is looking 'round, so I

pull off the lot slow hang left on International.

Rollin up Lynnhaven Pkway's greenapple lights, i anticipate synchronicity.

In the clover leaf banks of Rt 44 ramp,

i loosen my skin, float on in.

Seems in no time

I'm slappin' down beats on highway seams

Right foot forward.

Fixed.

Spinning steel pushing the needle loving its dance

 

Between Richmond and Washington there is a dichotomy that cannot be explained

This time no blindside; this time i was like sitting in a dead truck on the tracks, hearing the imminence of locomotion.

No amount of mental processing no graceful acceptance of fate came and when it charged and bellowed the voice of Hell, in short i was afraid

 

Cross through the late-day shadow of that cathedral whose steeples heave skyward but never leave earth.

The gilded angel blasts an imaginary reveille  to remind us we should believe we are small.

 

Stay to the left up here, ... to the left, to the rhythmless march of roaring road hum and diesel engine ping

its pink noise whining tires and wind whistling in in the blue blue-grey hour

 

I-270's two left lanes follow yellow purple plastic Monopoly buildings

remember

see big bucks both ways

 

away from another city again, the car far ahead flicks a cigarette - a little succulent poison orange blossom bursting out into the dark halflife

 

all night static, this station too?

I write the songs that make the young. . .what?

Fidget! like when shitty Texas radio nearly sent me over the rail of Dallas' thirteen story loopty.

 

Mountains shift down...

six, five...think i can

i believe in the twinkles and these eensy-weensy moonstruck churches painted just the way i remember, whose images remind Man of many things.

third, second...  Move my lips without sound

seconds equal ages, "The Sky is Wisdom" echoes, and although Rene may have been right, i am thinking i like thinking myself out of myself

 

in tarnation, check the tank, feel half-human again nearing Breezewood's rainbow neon halo.

I hit rumble strips - get onion chips

As numbers whiz white round in the fuel pump, a lot lizard springs over a reflective rain pool

five hours down, six to go

 

Welcome to the PA turnpike which wrings itself into valleys of visible death

where fleets of flat-tire F150s and soot-stain shacks w/ satellite dishes

live

but the stars are alive.  the sky is wisdom

 

get a chit at the gate and think a little prayer for no tickets

Johnny Law's good here - slick as Pennzoil

so many places he hides in the dark

 

falling... speedo needle slow dances with 77 and 81

down 6 degree grade for miles ... half-asleep

 

You're a driving machine, man, i think ...record of where & when you've been...

 

"Where you headed?" - a heavy question hisses from the weigh station speaker.

Out of my head

and my answer cracks the hours-long silence.

 

        your own voice can scare you.

 

Rolling into the plains everything begins to slow

rolling down a window is cold comfort

makes me lonely.

Even every thought is mute and odd

May i have some words?

Why'd I ask if I can sleep underwater?

 

Blue taking shape in the rear view

and i am careening fast as fate lets me at that Western lightlessness

groove is gone

is it Saint Cecilia or Frances ahead?

or just highway sirens?

i can't make it.

it's 7:31 Saturday a.m.

gotta stop

rest on the shoulder

escape my skin

i write it in the log

"almost to Cleveland."

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