Where Are You?

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So where are you?

In a galaxy far far away.

No. Where are you really?

Tralfamadore.

Isn’t that where …?

Yes, where Billy Pilgrim went.

That time traveller from ‘Slaughterhouse Five’?

Yes, he went there on his days off.

His days off? From where?

Reality. Reality bites, you know.

But what if you never came back?

Like Hugh Conway in ‘Lost Horizons’?  Dorothy in Oz ?

Yes.

Would it really matter? You’d be where you want to be. Would you even want to go back?

 

Have you a favourite fantasy place ? Which fantasy world would you live in if you could? What if you couldn’t come back?

The Best Exotic Mongolian Beanie

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What sort of wuss wears a beanie around the house?

It’s not Outer Mongolia for fuck’s sake.

And I do have the heater on.

But it does look exotic and its warm and woolly.

A tower of a hat from Ulaanbaatar, the trader tells me.

I had to have it with its burnished reds and browns and its black leopard spots.

But I look a proper Charlie wearing it in the mall or library or on public transport.

In restaurants people just stare.

So I wear it in the yard when I’m gardening or evening walks along the esplanade before disappearing into my yurt

Bloomington-TibetanCC-Yurts-9114  where I cuddle with a copy of Sonomyn Udval’s ‘Collected Short Stories’

 

The Lady in the Glove Box

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When I wait for her to do a spot of shopping

I wait in the car.

When she’s getting ready to go out,

I wait in the driveway, the sun

like a lamp. with my stash of magazines

between the seats:

my New Yorkers, National Geographics

and that lady in the glove box,

Olive Kitteridge.

It is my loo, my library, my study,

My five-seated reading room,

My Chapman’s Homer.

My car really takes me places.

 

 

Big Bad Bus

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I’m on a bus, he said. It’s like that bus in ‘Speed’. It can never stop. It can’t slow down. It can’t pick up passengers. It tears through the countryside in a purple blur. You don’t get a chance to take it in. There’s no such thing as a ‘breather’. There are no rest stops. The driver never sleeps. You’re more hostage than passenger. I’m on a bus, he said. And the bus is me.

 

Lop-Sided Moon

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The bus shelter at the end of our street grinds its teeth at night.

Sometimes I sit with it, hold its hand, listen to its tale

of drunks and suicides,

of lycanthropes baying at the full moon,

of lonesome Lotharios weeping in their fists

 

I talk to it too about my problems

Of the jig-saw days when pieces don’t fit

Of the times when your heart races

Like a wildebeest on the veldt

But latches onto nothing.

 

After a while we both settle

 

and I head off home

beneath a lopsided moon.

 

 

Roads

roads

 

The great roads do not have them:

The Road Less Travelled,

The Yellow Brick Road,

The Road to Damascus.

Nor the vinyl ones:

John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’,

‘The Highway to Hell’,

The Beatles’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’.

Only the lesser roads have them:

The pot-holed, crumbling ones,

The ones we have to travel:

Road Works.

Read the Tide

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Read the tide.

Don’t hide.

Don’t bury your head

In the sand.

Understand

The hand that thrills

Is also the hand that kills.

Leave nothing to chance.

Randomness is not your friend.

Know what comes around the bend.

Be ready.

Rock steady.

The promontory erodes.

Even the longest roads

Come to an end.

Randomness is not your friend.

 

 

 

A Hail of Taxis

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Not the first cab off the rank

Nor the last cab to darwin

Nor the one de niro drove in taxi driver

Not even the big yellow taxi that joni mitchel drove to the top

Of the charts

But a little black and white number which took me to the icu

Late in the night the day juno’s heart packed it in.