Blind Love Going Strong
In the beginning a surface emerges
to be studied, like the rarest find.
Caressing stares love as a whole hair and eyes,
moving lips, the flex of ankles. The head turns
following the magnetism of breasts under fabric,
even toenails painted exotic pastel blue.
Like a familiar movie the first days so soon
documented—her proud profile
fascinating, the way she pronounces
Appalachian, the electric shifting naked legs,
how her eyes flash as she pushes hair from
her face, how shyness drops her chin.
Meditation memorizing the exquisite moves,
like reading a new book, though soon enough
surprising habit slides forward, eyes blinking
behind bifocals as first memory fog projects past
the newest bulge, the newly learned twisted and rough,
the not so hidden stretch mark, the wrong angle.
When a loving familiar path is energized in the grit,
hands know a surface menu and eyes
are not necessary, though a felt vision lingers
singular, frozen—the tilt of the head, a stretching
whispered smile, eyes sparkling green. The rhythm
in loving drama, when in sleeping peace combined,
breathing one Buddha, under blankets a foot
in familiar game, so well hidden,
stalls, playing forgotten. Then insistent
reaches to touch.
© 2014 Mark Vogel
As the Sun Burns Through
The morning sky is stained gray
painted all the way down to the ground.
Under this lowered sky, this sodden land
accepts as normal sober persistent invasion—
a steady thin mist drips on pine, fir, hemlock,
and unbelievable in the openness between
power lines is the Pacific Ocean.
Closer in a finch flits on wet branches,
then flies towards the unreal fogged beach.
In the looking a flicker of change blinks—
no thick layer of new yellow lilt,
no distinct categories of fresh intelligence,
just a shift in uniform drear,
a newly lit unseen possibility,
as if new energy has been created.
Three gulls fly higher like they know a plan,
and far out over waves a west wind
pushes fat clouds—new clarity dissolving
glue, revealing endless rolling expanse.
At the surf line a solitary eagle stands waiting,
while from ground to sky another layer
of gray disappears, like it never existed.
© 2014 Mark Vogel
Interstate Motel Room, Part Nine
The facts stamped in the carpet—
the herd has been here and partied,
while outside, Cadiz, Kentucky squats
on flat land stretching west forever.
Because trees on this neutered frontier
have long been erased, nothing in
the lime spring field obscures two great signs
luring cars, or closer, opposite the Country Kitchen,
three buffalo shuffling in a fifty foot corral
before gawking tourists. An army of rumbling
trucks threatens a peace garden populated
with red/blue gnomes.
In the world’s quietest room a movie
is stuck on replay—a wild turkey tom coming
a hundred miles an hour from interstate void,
flying at a white van—coming to die in speed
and hiss and diesel wind. Over and over above me
inside super duper Super 8, lying on a bed
big enough for twelve, frenetic suicidal turkeys fly.
Dear Jesus disembodied, thank you for no talk radio,
for pushing back at droning road shuffle,
the linear locked in plunging away.
But still, please explain.
Outside orange smudged clouds quiver
and darken as neighbors talk loud
and head en-mass to eat biscuits and jelly.
Maybe once no Cadiz green BP frothed
coffees and collected pralines drew travelers
from the trail, but now the history has been bulldozed.
Because stopping to quiet the blood was a mistake,
the magic lies in standing erect, crossing the river,
plunging back into the flattened race,
moving fast away from black feathers
exploding in tornado air.
© 2014 Mark Vogel
Ahead the Unwritten
In the newspaper strewn garage wanting the job
was enough in an ancient age when no credentials
were required to see or smell the mile wide river.
Like riffraff spawned by the chocolate water
a white cat stained with newsprint, a tail-less yellow pit bull
sleeping on an oil stain, guarding four cars beaten
into submission. My car, like a slur,
a garish lime-green Chevy Vega with the front
passenger window gone, as if by design by the soft talking
hairless boss in flannel mumbling every other word,
teaching in two days the essentials about delivering the news.
How to race darkness in a seventy mile Ozark circle
fast as fast can go—how to throw and drive, throw and drive,
dropping bundles in Fredericktown, Poplar Bluff, Clearwater—
always pushing for speed, always moving away.
Inevitable the gray drizzle days when machines fail,
like the afternoon when the Vega wouldn’t start,
and the master pointed to the monster black GTO,
already teaching again, how to shift and use the clutch,
to control throbbing tires begging to squeal. Then I was
alone, energized cruising tree lined freedom
before I killed the temperamental beast thirty miles out.
Starting and stalling in ominous darkness, starting and stalling
with no one hearing, no adult came to rescue the day.
The engine roared, the car lurched five feet, then died again
with the sweet clutch smell filling the air as ten thousand
cicadas sang on this road where even the dogs
remained asleep. Time has created voices for this story—
a real enough Steve McQueen saying push on
like speeding momentum is the only horse to ride,
the necessary youthful edge. Like a religion blooming
the ignition turns over, rewarding persistence
as a drug seeking strength, searching and finding
ways to move, an uncharted new way home.
© 2014 Mark Vogel
A Little Poetry
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