Love In My Sneakers

I didn’t know then that I was California-bound
except the fibers on the back of my neck
knew something was wrong
with where I was

and love didn’t make me stay.

I was levitating in the rabbit hole,
pleading for someone to choose for me
because everything I wanted
wasn’t enough;

it was love in my hands
but it was also love
in my sneakers.

And it let me go
just like I watched you go,
tired of holding my feet
to the floor.

I had love still dripping from my shoelaces,
dragged wet traces across the whole country.
I stained every sidewalk I found
with the love that I left.

But I was California-bound,
I was always heading here,
and the love that I couldn’t keep
steered me on.

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Year 2: Day 96 – Typewriter

I’d like to carry a typewriter,
one that folds up in a suitcase
with a handle,
and sit smoking on a train
breathing inspiration through the windows,
puffing genius madly.

I’d like to work in a laundromat by day
and pocket extra quarters
for bottles of brandy
sucked back in moldy apartments
where my habit has its play.

I’d like to be firmly trodden down,
to have something to rail against,
to pray that the click and the clack of my fury
would be the sound of justice
in a deaf world’s ears.

I’d like to be alone when I die.
I’d like them to print that in the papers.
I’d like all the women who’ve tried to love me
to come forward to tell how much pain I was in,
like a blind man who hasn’t got time to be healed
who ironically sees so much.

I’d like to say I never wanted it all,
that I just wanted to carry a typewriter,
breathing inspiration through the windows,
puffing genius madly.

Year 2: Day 51 – The Road To Almost

The road to Almost is paved in silk,
smooth to a slide
straight into a city
where life is so very easy.

I don’t even know
how many lives
I could lead there.

I asked a wise man
how to get to Certain
and he said there was
no such place,
so I asked how to get
to Close Enough
and he said it’s right on
the border of Almost,
touching,
but nobody wants
to go there.

I sighed and said
I won’t go Anywhere
but he said I was
already there.

And I smiled and told him
I’d rather be Anywhere
than on the road
to Almost.

Year 2: Day 42 – The Choir

What more can be said
for the open road
that hasn’t already
been hollered
out the window
at a hundred miles
an hour?

I’m just here to add one voice
to the choir.

How much louder
can a caged bird sing
when finally set free?
How groundbreaking
can it get, just another
cry of thanks,
one more utterance
of freedom
in the wild?

I’m just here to bear witness
that it does still occur,
that some caged birds
escape
and still sing.

Day 188 – I Wrote This Poem Asleep On The Bus

I wrote this poem asleep on the bus
Dead sound asleep up the line
A suitcase full of black stars up on top
The churn of get-going freedom below

I wrote this poem asleep on the bus
While my town rolled away
But I never noticed when one ended
And another began

I wrote this poem asleep on the bus
I wasn’t really there so much as
Dreaming about new adventures and saying goodbye and
Trying to avoid the man next to me
Who kept asking if I wanted some Doritos
And telling me about his new job and new life
On the end of this same line
By pretending to be asleep

I wrote this poem asleep on the bus
Wondering why the best things are so simple but so tedious
And why they sometimes can get spoiled
By people
Who don’t realize you want to be asleep