melancholy

Sundays…… and so on

Some great songs

from 30 years ago

(thanks prime)

and my mind reels 

at the conversion

from youth

to ruin…

 …well,

drama aside, 

it feels that sudden. 

Yesterday I popped

that singular cassette

into my dumpy car 

(a car more loved 

than any “far-better” car

I have owned since) 

and watched the world

reveal itself  to me

while inviting me

to the glories of a youth

unfolding. 

Today…

well, 

my four-year-old seems intrigued

by the music

of yesterday. 

Old…

or older…

It sucks,

and the perspective gained

goes ignored. 

Joy

I get older, 

(and it’s insidious)

and I find that

the holidays

slip further

and further

from my grasp. 

All the traditions,

the narratives of my youth,

traipse before me

like a parade

of mockeries

designed to fasten me 

to a world

that no longer

exists. 

I bathe in these motifs,

even as I puzzle

how to manifest them

for my son. 

I don’t know…

maybe it’s a few too many beers,

(and melancholy loves a buzz)

but I get wistful and jealous

of these ghosts that haunt me.

It’s Christmas

and I’m reaching out

to snatch at its foggy edges

and draw back to me

some semblance

of place. 

The reason

Christmas always brings
a strange mix of joy
and melancholy.
Early in the season
I anticipate,
and look forward,
with fondness
and warmth.
As the weeks before
become just days
I find apprehension.
The mood is one
of having let someone down.
I need no gifts,
and the saturation of family
is often too much.
I look,
then,
to the unfiltered joy
in my little boy’s eyes
and see solace.
His enthusiasm is honest,
and unaltered
by the burdens of adulthood.
He has a fervent desperation
for each twinkling light,
each sighting of, “Santa!”
He has returned to me
the unjaded perspective
of the season,
he holds up a mirror
to my prior joy
and shows me
what I had forgotten…
so now Christmas
can be Christmas
once again.

I cannot share what i don’t have

H. is coming back tomorrow,

by train.

Link by link

(clickity-clack

              clickity-clack)

I’m sure the trip

has all the romance

of a cattle car

passing through

every lonely boon-dock,

pin-hole,

run-down depot

between lost-towns

and sorry boom-time memories.

I want to see irony in it,

but I don’t think there is any.

I love seeing her,

it eases my mind;

no apologies for that,

it just does:

she’s my placebo.

I am happy to take it,

knowing of nothing else

that works as well.

It comes as a simple truth:

she’s my best friend,

and centering ballast.

That’s what makes not having her heart

so damn hard.