Friday, October 16, 2009


I stepped out of the Scottish Inn into a light mist. "Car," I thought."Where was help?" I wondered. Broke down in Lake City. On Main Street I could look east and know this street deadended into a lake. The Movement of God would take me west to the Engine Room where the boys would pronounce the word serpentine slowly while looking at my belts. I had developed a mild case of tinnitus in the form of an inner voice saying "car" whenever conversation arose. This was not the Tennessee I had drawn. The one with horses and whiskey was balled up in the waste basket at the Scottish Inn. And there would be no drink at the counter with MacDuff to send me on my way. Ganesh said, "have a good day". Ultimately what would save me was the prayer offered by a woman who was moved to speak to God concerning my situation. "Lord, help him find the path out of this mess," she said, touching my shoulder there at the gas station. "Car," I responded, as she walked away. Later the boys at the Engine Room would give me some weak-ass coffee and say, "you're all set." "Car," I replied, smiling.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Big Friday

This is how it got away from us:
Many of us began to notice the
true cyclical nature of things and
became fed up with Wednesdays.
Oh, it was like pulling teeth, but
eventually we rounded that corner,
circumscribed that square.
Mondays were next, a day,
that for obvious reasons,
lacked zest and produce.
Tuesdays got caught in that cross
fire and Saturdays lost their novelty.
Sundays encroached on meaning
and Thursdays had nowhere to go.
That left Friday, Big Friday, as we
jokingly called everything left. The
next thing we knew past and future
spiraled out of control, and crashed.
Night air, sunlight, and a little rain
were our first choices for what
to gather around Big Friday. But
even those things were no longer
sitting in slots, waiting for a bell.
Nothing ever started again on Big
Friday. And nothing was ever finished
in the sun, the rain, or by the moon
looking in.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Silent Speed of Starlight

How far has that light come?
People pass me on the interstate
as I putz along, looking up.
The time it takes for me to see
them is like starlight. Isn't it?
Approaching. Receding. Until we
meet at that exit light. Eventually
every star will meet me, entering
my little planetarium through the
wet, double doors over there. And
finally, the bear will lose a paw,
the dipper handle will fall in my lap.
But others are coming. Enough for
some kitchen utensils. I will find
the garlic press, the little creamer.
There, dangling above the southern
horizon, the apron and strings.
All in good time.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Forgetting the World

These are the days when
I could be doing anything,
but I am doing this now:
standing on the gray deck,
arms raised, pulling in signals
from the world. Everything is
bringing from the future. And
receiving the future takes work.
It could be in the mailbox or my
ear. The nuthatch at my door,
just blue and shadow. The wind
coming across, something is waving.
It says, "sustain this." I can't. It
lands on faded prayer flags tacked
to the rail. Dropping my arms I think
about these things, and for this moment
and the next, I forget the world.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Headwaters: A schematic of sorts

"We here at the Larnie Ketteridge Home have been assigned the task of renaming rivers. First we say welcome to the sun this morning and welcome to the laundry driver, Dirk. From the Department of Interiors I have received a packet of five rivers that I shall rename today. Thank you Mr President for providing this volunteer retiree program to make it easier for all of us to remember river names. Thank you interior people. I know you are busy on the inside and underneath, so it is up to us on the outsides to stay current, to be updating right now. The first river I have is the Moselle. Why in the hell I got this I do not know. It is over there somewhere. But I see by a map that the upper part of the Moselle wiggles like a cat cleaning itself. Felix is my name for this river. Next is a river in Ohio called the Muskingum. This is silly. I name this river Central Mosquito. Another river is right here down the road. The Cuyahoga or crooked river. It too wiggles like a cat cleaning itself. I name this river Krazy Kat. The fourth river I have is the Sawanee. The idea of "way down" does not appeal to me. I name this river Toot. What the hell. Why not. And finally today I have the Mississippi. I feel that i-double s, i-double s, i-double p is an unnecessary way to remember a river. I will name this river Sippy Cup. Now people may wonder if this program actually works. Well I have received many cards and e-mails from people all over the place who have reported great ease in remembering rivers I have previously re-named. Such as the Turbinado Sugar, the Lesser Leaf Rake, and the Piper Cub. No explanation was necessary as the names truly fit these rivers. Well I would like to thank Floyd, Archer, and Frownman for their help with research today. Good day."