So this is your preparation for leaving, and this is your story.
Where is your mother? I thought you were her biographer?
That's what you tell the doctors. I am my mother's biographer.
Coming out of your dreamlife on your wife's side of the bed
you had rolled off your 2" by 6" incline
designed to drain your pathetic esophagus.
Pillows all over the floor. What was that about?
You saw a piece of prose and then you get up and write in lines.
So this is the state of your tatooed heart.
Dreaming the mothers, dreaming the grandchildren,
and the way you say goodbye to friends, waving from a poem.

This is the leaving, the ticket out of North Dakota
and how to do it. Grandma Myra and Grandpa Charlie.
This is storypath/cuentocamino,
life with martyrs asking them what they need.
Maybe shaving lotion or laundry soap. Chewing gum.
Finding your way inside North Dakota is more interesting than leaving.
This is your last look under stones for lost children.
Are you getting a little old for this work?
This, finally, is what poverty is all about.
This is your call into Pow Wow Trading Post in Page, Arizona,
(you don't boycott Navajo lands),
calling for Mountain Smoke and another clay pipe.
This is a call for healing, and you will smoke that pipe
with the people in Grand Isle, Louisiana
and raise a cry for disappeared land.

This is your wife's story, you say.
This is Dorothy coming from the peonies.
calling for her daughter. This is Karen listening.
This is the Indiana story that bathes you in the dying light.
This is all of you in tears crying for joy.
This is El Salvador in the heartland, the rancho in Michoacán.
This is what you woke to this morning, the music is norteño.
The singers are Cajun, the accent French.
You're at the Mothership Store getting a new light
to help you see in reverse. You're getting the air
in your tires checked and you're finding out
all that you do not know that makes you such a fool.
Don't you think God's indifference is healthy?
These are the blues you will die in.
Your tires are over-inflated. Don't put too much air in your poems.
This is what you promised to do with the poem when you moved in.
You left, you say, for this.
Say joyfully, please, what this is. Please.

Jim Bodeen
24 June 2010

1 comment:

  1. the journey within, the journey: the journey within the journey, within and without the self and those who have and are included in the self. i like the depth, the texture, the readiness to go but the feeling you have already been, an ongoing return, and a sense of joy in the complexity of it all. KJM