Thursday, September 22, 2011

Between Abbey and Rimbaud

Between Abbey and Rimbaud.

Yellow sun hanging on the horizon, sage aroma cleansing desert air along a ground hugging zephyr. I am surrounded by sounds of fall, a blue racer slinking to the edge of the salt pond, a last avocet pecking for surviving fish, a lone coyote venturing for an early meal of packrat or roadkill. Dry bunch grass crunching under step, i listen to faded pages flapping against my chest, leaves in a whirlwind.

I paid the price of 3 slices of bread for a tattered paperback of tradition in literature; a single dime which i had found in a parking lot in town. The money was light in the loser's pocket, yet the book rests, long and heavy upon my shelves.. And now authors part pages like open arms, to refill the reader in times of empty. I cannot peruse but a few lines in my will to absorb the direst of thought, minute details hurling images from a lake of words pooled behind my eyes.

A continent apart in another time, another tongue. Memory bidden, transcends form and texture to land upon mind and suspend all others. Two lines and i take flight across frontiers and centuries, unhampered by inventions of man, the current, my only connection.

Dry crumbs fall silently upon my lap, i reach for the canteen full of warm water, swish through teeth, throw back my head and listen to the lonely throat swallowing, begging for more. I pick up a stray cracker, grab a long muscle from the jack-rabbit leg; still tough from a night under hot stones in the sand pit oven outside. The old hare relinquishing essential protein, i make note to send thankful nods to her progeny, I may need them someday; for mine.

I have no hunger but for the single line, transfixed by bird song and empathy. Once the sand stirring wind has passed and consciousness afresh, i am fed and cleared of mundane concern by the light of some stranger, known of others, transcribing another life on paper, for me, another famished unknown at the end of the phrase.