Tuesday, March 15, 2011

from the vaults

Backtracking in the Early Nineties

The dispersed pieces of a former life
fly together like a film
run backwards. A single word
sets them off — Owsley, king of the
acid chemists, the eponymous chapter heading
of a remaindered detective novel bought for
$1 in a Woolworths variety store. I see it
as I turn the page; & associations
pile up so fast I confuse the front porch
with Freud’s casting couch. Dear Doctor, I
dropped a tab for the first time on an
afternoon in spring some twenty-five years
ago. No-one else was then & there
though I do recall the cushions were this
amazing shade of purple that sang
to me, & a sudden satori gave me insight
into the hidden meaning of the cover of
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
& the deeper mysteries that lay beyond.

In the here & now the cushions are red,
have a black ideogram embossed on them
to match the cane suite
that they rest upon. The birds are back
but it is the sun that sings above a lawn
that is mowed & watered regularly. Each
month the bank deducts the mortgage
& the car payments automatically; & I am
writing this on a PC paid for by
credit card. Sic transit gloria mundi. Then
into it all comes this chapter heading
& I am out of it again. One word that
probably cost me one quarter-millionth of
one dollar & gave the writer even less
dissolves the entire environment & once again
I race through stainless steel tunnels
where lights bounce back from the shiny walls
faster than words, slower than the eye can see.

first published in can we have our ball back?
included in Sun Moon's Mother


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