On cold winter mornings in Santiago, I wanted a typewriter — I looked at the machines in the repairman's window each day as I walked to work — There was winter prose, trapped in the keys, waiting liberation — I always passed by, never entering once — All that English still languishes cold in Chilean solitary.
Waiting is gray and cold even in summer — Jorge waits in line two hours a day — And Norman says when he's in line he's doing something wrong — Queue shortening, fruit ripening, tank filling, baby entering world, life ending, most tedious of all — Always in the future, unfulfilled anxiety.
Friends, lovers and enemies are the line — Alive, feeding itself each other's memories fusion of parallel parts, forming and reforming during lifetimes — I intersect an instant and live a series of isolations in a queue alone forever and quickly forgotten.
Two old cats live with me, as healthy as two year olds, each patiently hating the other and loving me these many years — Universal constants, I should have named them Hubble and Heisenberg.
Rolls, babysitter, medicine, coffee, you're on my mind — Try to work, talk, talk, talk, you're still there — Checks, flowers, books, (once, you wrote to me) Cook, dishes, pack, eat (your eyes across the table) Tired, exhausted, lonely, sleep — bed.
A spruce of some sort, dense with painful needles — Somewhat taller than the six year old who had taken a sudden interest in something other than a Star Pine bent double with its weight again in ornaments — After twenty years, that scent of indoor conifer was ecstatic.
Today, I talked and talked about bacteria and other little things — I talked and talked and talked while snow fell outside, silently, gently, adding onto itself, blurring my morning tracks, burying my car, erasing colors, blacks and grays — I left my white board covered with red circles, blue arrows and black words, And entered my white world, soft white mounds on flat white planes, white sky, white air — Speechless and lost.
Sun layered gold through green onto black snow Christmas morning — Gwyneth, dog supreme, loped silent snow paws through light and dark of forest dawn — Saw bear lumbering to winter sleep, bobcat, spruce bough settled, with curious gaze — Gave chase at imagined nothings floating in air ice great dog noises snow-muffled making silence silenter — Finally circles into white nest, smiling at bear protector, who dreams of crazy cat, who laughs at dog below — Three creatures sensing a brief perfection — right place, right time.
Now, I have this solitude returned, once so prized, a moat childhood's monsters could not cross — Even you are now repulsed and flee.
"Crystal White Detergent" -- that's mine. 'That's nice', he blew, no words. You knew just what he said, with that two-note thing, biting hard, filling cheeks, screaming tearful logic, love, much chaos: 'Pale wrist submerged'. 'Beat that', he blew, and I, with uncharacteristic hesitation, I ...groped, my halleluahs submerged in reverent suds in detergent discovered on a mental counter. One last challenge, he blew again: 'I cannot do this, cannot cannot Kana...' ...who tail-waggled in, knowing her wordless name, tootled in puddly notes lazing low around his feet. She lapped up sounds and loosed me, forgotten -- I was no man again, and he won, no words against my slippery syllables. -- Eric Kofoid & Kelly Sullivan