I have gotten really into feet recently. Predictably, it had to be an horrific and excruciating pain to bring about the awakening. (There is a fable about this.) I am now in an elite group I hadn’t previously known about because I pretty much wasn’t thinking about feet before this.
We all know (even outside the group) that there’s like a thousand bones, or something. And they all matter. I mean, they all totally matter. But in the group—and this is where things get interesting—it’s a lot about the great toe. Does it align with the metatarsal? How are the extensors looking? Too short? Are the lesser toes impacted? Middle phalanges puckered? And the kicker, is everybody permanently whacked out in dorsilflexion?
These are all really important questions to the feet group.
Should you find yourself wandering,
first stop in to my house, one in
from the corner, because I can give
you tips about the neighborhood.
The kind you’d want,
not crappy tips.
For example, on the north sidewalk
past the Chinese church
at about 5:30/45,
the petite sedan,
color of fading silt,
has parked for the night.
Its seat covers will demand your attention.
An imposition will be upon you:
the notion you are in Hawaii.
The afternoon sun against your back
as you switch the grocery bag to your other hand
is another invitation
to you from the day,
from the ocean you cannot see,
to return to your once-aquatic life
to anguish the beautiful memory of
bubbles swept across your chest
on tiny currents after
your hundredth dive.
And, by 6:30, the street is usually empty.
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road…
From laden boughs, from hands
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
… the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
its round jubilance …
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
I couldn’t be there at Occupy Cal tonight (this photo is ripped from the AP), but this old poem came around instead. See below. What can I say? I was feeling the remote love and possibilities of a movement worth fighting for.
I Come Home Wanting To Touch Everyone
The dogs greet me, I descend
into their world of fur and tongues
and then my wife and I embrace
as if we’d just closed the door
in a motel, our two girls slip in
between us and we’re all saying
each other’s names and the dogs
Buster and Sundown are on their hind legs,
people-style, seeking more love.
I’ve come home wanting to touch
everyone, everything; usually I turn
the key and they’re all lost
in food or homework, even the dogs
are preoccupied with themselves,
I desire only to ease
back in, the mail, a drink,
but tonight the body-hungers have sent out
their long-range signals
or love itself has risen
from its squalor of neglect.
Everytime the kids turn their backs
I touch my wife’s breasts
and when she checks the dinner
the unfriendly cat on the dishwasher
wants to rub heads, starts to speak
with his little motor and violin–
everything, everyone is intelligible
in the language of touch,
and we sit down to dinner inarticulate
as blood, all difficulties postponed
because the weather is so good.
The Electric Slide Boogie
New Year’s Day 1:16 AM
and my body is weary beyond
time to withdraw and rest
ample room allowed me in everyone’s head
but community calls
right over the threshold
drums beating through the walls
children playing their truck dramas
under the collapsible coatrack
in the narrow hallway outside my room
The TV lounge next door is wide open
it is midnight in Idaho
and the throb easy subtle spin
of the electric slide boogie
around the corner of the parlor
past the sweet clink
of dining room glasses
and the edged aroma of slightly overdone
all laced together
with the rich dark laughter
and her higher-octave sisters
How hard it is to sleep
in the middle of life.
Is that a bear in a Russian taxi?