Excerpts FROM MASON DIXON LINE BLUES (2013)
Over January 10th and 11th I was in Pennsylvania playing two shows in Twilight Memories. A whole lot of memories came back when visiting the old neighborhood in West Philadelphia...even though it's been only two years....I wrote a book of sorts when living there on Buckingham Place. Here are five prose/poem excerpts. Someday I will do something with all these writings. A lot of cemetery poems---one finds a foreign past and the so-called present. These are all drafts and not finished quite.
Poem Among Tombstones Within Woodland Cemetery Upon Schuylkill River
I’m existence among
T o m b s t o n e s
Crows in cherry blossoms. Crows caw among cherry blossoms. darken sooty spots. REminders of the industrial revolution's pendulum past
even the dog taunts the root. reduced back into the lure of the fantasy the rock
the ether the concrete nonexistent,
someone is blaring whose biology?
YesterdaY, he noticed a back tooth upon the right side of the mouth
Has a crack. The crack is not yet,
A Philadelphia MemorY
The cherry blossoms
On bucking hammer street were all photocopies of blurry medical textbooks involving
Rain kept. Rain kept up. They wouldn’t take me at the community Health center. I had to live in the basement with my wife-- the house of two witches, mostly good, held
Rain kept rain kept Up. So did the cold weather weathering and IT was supposed to be jiffY spring that never quite sprung. I got sick. Real sick. MostLy the physicaL body this time. Though the brain did get a touch of the sickness. I got so sick I could not drinK no whiskeY anymore.
I got confused and confiscated into the delusion. What delusion?
Well it called Mortician jig hip thrust thump-- a new crazy dance sweeping the nation. You know by the waY Dick Clark got his starT not that far far away.
I remember all this cause I left Filthidelphia--reading a Chinese poetry book called
Chinese Love Lyrics.
I barely visited China Town once during my Philadelphia Sojourn.
When I read words back, not dependent if I wrote them or not, tha words change--they shape shift--literal and metaphysical
---a trickster word thar
I often will be aware of this as the Escapades--so I go back and will read it again.
Is this like memories?
Mysticism recollected-- then attempt at Public Medical Health Care, Philadelphia
YoU can dream mysticism when yer bodY is sick. This I aligned well.
The last ghost creation’s white comedy of becoming lost. Compromised sister again.
Great fiery rain upon silver panes. Dark deaths.
Bow woven front business North.
Death path where the cherry blossom trees have been axed down. Amnesia stones.
Decrying shadow--the dwelling vice a ROOT ROLLING LINE SHADOW.
After eternal and after body truth.
Sinister moon congregates! I am socked speechless with horrific blows.
Dark to darkness.
The story ask God questions.
I am at Health District five trying to get medical help. The nurse won’t believe my symptoms. She don’t believe who I am, who I say I am, neither do three clerks drunk on the high of social work. Somber or Sober? Queen blithe Bitch of the security guards. I watch two episodes of The Jeffersons on the television In fatigue. Some numbers are called. The numbers apply to separate flesh. Each separation of flesh is seeking some kind of laboratory work.//tests.
I am told I cannot be helped with any medical care. I storm out in anger fermented with body sickly into pale Philly morning and destroy a fallen tree limb in the courtyard. I am deep asleep at noon.
Oakland Cemetery PA
Between a hammer and a whisper
I walked up hill--the small hill within the confines of the Pennsylvania cemetery. North East Philadelphia. I walked the overgrown path that carriages used to roll with wooden wheels. I walked through thorns --I had to break some thorns and kept walking. I had to get caught up in some thorns.
I got down on my knees and prayed in the central axis I got down on my knees and prayed in the circle formed by four naked swaying bone trees. I prayed to tha lord, even though lord don’t mean lord.
I found car parts in the woods, though no full car. My lover found a hammer buried deep in the dirt road.
STONE. The stone lettering. The stone lettering can take you aback with stern declamation. The letters make a worn phrase. Through the darkness to the light was inscribed in late nineteenth century lettering. The triumphant stone angel blackened by acid rain and ancient factory soot. The monument overlooking the Schuylkill River. Where the bend occurs.
I keep finding dead snakes in this cemetery. Small serpents. Green grayish serpentine plurals. A whole (dead) nest of them neath a large rock. One among the crumbling leaves that were turning into dust. The whole earth turns into dust.
Woodland cemetery. A paradise garden to safe keep the dead and bring the living , devoutly together in life’s interactive.
I place a dead snake upon one tombstone overlooking the river. I then find one alive neath the leaves. I prod the serpentine with a stick and give up out of boredom and or mercy. I had a different mind that day. Those days. The mind was in disorder as well as the heart. The heart disorderly into contempt and simplifications.
I forgot all praise. I praise the blue sky and the streaks of sun shimmering the cold marble monuments in late winter or early spring. Winter and spring keep on becoming the same here.
An older man and younger woman are painting the mansion’s columns white. A new coat for the change of seasonal. The decay is concealed. One supposes.
Close proximity to the front burial ground gates.---There is an old liquor bottle that has human claws floating in a liquid that could be liquor or formaldehyde. A paper is a tunnel inside with explanations in hand writing. Message in the bottle neath the old Elm. When you hold the bottle up to the light and try to read the note you can easily discern the word GOD.
The prostitute perceives a Ghost Man
I am the ghost that drifts past the soliciting prostitute.
A prostitute with flop shoe sandals on North Philadelphia summer after midnight I’m lost--lost in lost ness my lover just dumped me out of my grandfather’s old white ford truck and drove away drunk in the night I am also drunk yet heightened by fear and terror that has shivered into the hot sweats of a psychotic bliss state of survival--4four young pimps in long t-shirts are emerging out of the dark park.
I walk by and do not even glance at the woman who is doing the seduction dance in all probabilities very poorly and I will not be a part of her wheel of fortune tonight as I have sent wild prayers silently expounding into the hot trickery infested atmosphere---
She is stomping her plastic sandals behind me on the concrete I expect words yet I hear no words I clutch my knife in right pocket knife extended I know those young pimps emerging out of the dark park are going to converge with her--
She is stamping her plastic sandals dollar store sandals on the cracked pavement--I wont’ fuck her==I won’t pay money to fuck her--I don’t want to wait for the 4four young pimps emerging out of the dark park who are looking to make money out of this ho.
I sing my own gospel songs bout how the devil and god are both gonna arrive from up and down and kill us all--I make the divine feel my sparse bleak spark of desperation---I am left alone and I continue alone lost in North somewhere Philadelphia tunneling deeper into my blackhole of lostness and condemnation (s).
Summer is arriving at another end. This is my 33 summer in the outside realm. My thirty fourth if one counts the time served in the womb before swimming through the water to that odd light that jettisons one into this physical realm to interact with the physical realm.
…………the problem is always focusing and completing anxiety dread what are these nervous twitching?