Those words that come at night wash
swim the room like pieces of litter
flowing down a gutter in rainfall
cooling the street and gloom.
Then come the slow-moving
pulled by a pair of worker
words pulling like tugs
the barges of raw sense:
to to wit
to to whom
to to why
to to reason
of of love
in in fear
two by two
far and near.
Day ends with a walk to sleep,
ends again in the sober reality
of celestial shade, one awakes
in the dark and quiet, too early
to get out of bed, too late
to start some new episode
on the television or telephone,
and this is when one turns
to paper and words seep
out shy and uncertain fearful
like little furry animals searching
the brambles for food and drink
day’s fire now cool ashen,
and while certainly somewhere
in the city of night madness
drones on, an asocial tinnitus,
here in the paper we find
we can hear the pencil’s breeze
and feel the bluish-gray lead lighten.
We squiggled and danced around
and the radio and the romance
until all the songs blew fuses
and the whole night crashed down.
We could hear that dark fall coming
down in the valley and up on the hill
whistles and the steel rail humming
buttered popcorn and bubble water.
At the Centinela drive-in theatre
in my ’56 Chevy hoping it would start
up again when the twiddle ended
under surveillance during the draft.