Thursday, December 20, 2012
6 am on the beach in Venice by William F. DeVault (1955- )
the clouds forming a ceiling that caps a feeling of grey.
greyness at the birth of the day...the sun wanting to play,
wanting so much to play, like a child at a locked gate.
waiting for the moment when the pin is slipped.
I saw a snail crossing the sidewalk in the aftermath
of a midnight rain. unaware that the path she took
was to death, for she did not know the concept of concrete
or car or crushing. just that for the moment, the trail
was wet enough for her to get the traction she needed.
and the loud man howled at the empty vendor stalls,
wrapped in his sleeping bag patched with a past
no one would never ask about and he probably doesn't recall.
I wonder if his mother knew when she kissed him to sleep
a thousand lives ago
that he would wander the wasted echoes of a city,
shouting strange slogans that he alone knew the qaballah of.
mother's love forgotten.
his hair matted with sweat and dirt and Lord knows what else.
a surfer jogged at the edge of the waters, his neoprene cocoon
fitting him well as his bare feet left a path in the wet sand.
he carried his board beneath his left arm
and his short brown hair told me that in his secret identity
he probably had the office down the hall
and this was his escape from the mediocrity
that Thoreau warned us about.
before there was a benefit concert by millionare
rock stars to save his pond,
when any one of them
could have done it all by themselves.
and a strange pigeon flew through the hovering shore birds,
his wings slapping together as he applauded his courage
in crossing turf of a gang of birds not of a feather.
his mottled greys his colours, shown in defiance.
and the gulls barked at him in colourful curses
I did not understand (for my seabird is worse than my Spanish.)
and of the three winos on the canal, the cleanest one said good morning.
maybe he's new to the life, or maybe he has kept one foot
a meter over the line that demarcates that world of degradation
from this world of degradation.
maybe his anesthesic of choice even works better than mine.
and the vendor dragged a folding chair around,
fastening up the canvas flaps to get ready to display
his wares to a world of tourists there to see a world
they would never dare live in.
because it is just too weird. too strange. too dark.
too bright. too pierced. too tattooed
and too much like home to me, now.