31 January 2016

Sunday Meditation #45: Eating the Home of Boyhood

Truth as revealed in a sandwich, found in a place unexpected. Roadside sub shop franchised, branded, and with all the chips from your boyhood. Stickball special they call it but you know it as the sandwich that meant you were home.

Home. Cheese, ham and capocollo with the usual suspects. And funny how it warms you up, maybe even brings a slight tear to the eye, because of that feeling of home. Nostalgia wasn't on the menu, not a condiment, not a cellophane-wrapped chocolate chip cookie next to the register. No, it was none of those things, and everything.

To find the past you left behind, the days of idle wonder in the summer and stultifying boredom (sometimes) in the school year, the laying on your back in the grass while falling asleep to the drone of airplanes...to find these things and more in between the bites of lettuce and onion, tomato and hot pepper relish, is a minor miracle.

Watching the wine vinegar and the olive oil drip off the bun, running down the heel of your hand you can give thanks that you aren't truly weeping in the fluorescent glare of the sandwich shop. Seeing yourself in the window glass under that dead-making light is a bit of a shock. So much older now. Unknown if you are much wiser.

What you do know as you wash down the last bite of the sandwich with gulps of unsweetened tea is that you were a young lad once. A young lad who only needed a favorite sandwich and a book to know he was home. He is there, you see. In the glass looking back at you and wondering who that fellow is, so near and so far from home.

24 January 2016

Magpie Tales 303: Our Ink Began to Dry

Image via Magpie Tales

Ghost in the corner of the eye as
Counselor's door smacked my ass
hollow boom of sanctioned freedom
imploded in a fevered skull

She followed me to the car
worn leather soles scratching a dance
on oily pavement, halogen mirror balls 
glaring up the garage park club

Keys of the beater I got to keep
papers on its roof, a sheaf
of lead ending our mutual bondage
heavier wings we have never flapped

At stall 19 we stopped, me to weep
she to spin, or was it my head?
in the light of release she blurred
into the hard grey of my new prison