Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Purple Foxglove (a poem)

The Purple Foxglove (a poem) by L. Edgar Otto 04-13-10

Your large head and small frame
the warmth of your skin, we tread lightly\
gentle play aware of your toddling
the protruding chest as if someone built
A larger engine than the old jalopy's design
replaced the hood with a domed slag pile
you tore pages in the Old Lady's bleeding
blood red book in the rain she let me keep for its maps
I told them I was not mad and it was no unlucky omen
just that you were trying to take the Bible pictures out
then I taught you how to wind the music box
gave you my farmer in the dell of colorful spinning creatures

Only when the first snow fell I resolved to spend the day with you
Nothing could be done two faced the fate knowing I'd lose you again

We were teary eyed even before our father stood
in uniform as if to formally announce United States would not be callihng
but your dream did not leave us yet, lingered on
hospital folds by themselves your corner of the bed
I tried to live twice as much and through your eyes change
that you never knew your first love and I
searched the earthly books for cures in your name
only when you let me go no longer we two our guardian angles
The new socks they bought you did not ware out, fresh forever
somewhere in your spaceship your resting bleeding heart in stasis
through flowers fade so fragile plucked and myths renewed
I did not think the Christ of the infant Andes would crumble

Marble wash away, letters blurred and vandals desecrate
I meant to visit you, bring flowers, as I have done in dreams

I still traveling in the tightrope of time
learned it could all be changed back somewhere
with our child eyes and faith, small our world's beginnings
I made a difference, brought lesser cures before
The fact they were not there, confounded the confused doctors
yet playing with time is a meaningless, pointless sculpting
who can count on or promise someday the healers will
care to return or even know our doings can
Change the fates unseen small steps here for our sister worlds
we did not give up our explorations in the mudflats
nor get stuck in the cane and methane at high tide
we flew, became like the red wing blackbirds, infinite our cobs of corn

Every lesser creature sought grain, spoke through its soul but I
Could not cherish or change by my dollop of magic for less than you

Now as the Lilly of my own less sacred heart begins to fold back within
I see the prison no sacred ground the shell of your burnt out house
full of soot and ashes, too costly to restore and yet
I cherish your relic bones and flight in ageless wisdom
Living a space of fertile emptiness that blossoms again
Yet, I would visit a place, a castle gutted of
all things, time and fire's limits, its scars stone walls
so death buries the dead after all as even fire vanishes
I can no longer walk through those walls nor am I moved
to bleeding fingers anymore with you trying to escape
as if that solace outweighs the black hole in the landscape
or in recapitulation my reptilian triune chambered heart blue baby too

What does it matter if I decipher all the runes in the world
If I cannot find again that once and earthly pattern of your unique soul?

* * *

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sun Dogs (or Dog Tracks)

The doggie on his walk continues to mark his territory.

Here, while it is fresh on my mind, I will write a three part story around the theme of dogs about my adventures in Chicago and back last week watching my son's dog Bengi while they visited New York City. So check back in.

by L. Edgar Otto

I. Dog Days Going to the Dogs

II. Greyhounds Chasing Electrical Bunnies

"Lady Liberty is such a bitch, if she cannot control the truth, she resorts to lies."

"Thanks for the company Amy of Arkansas, Mother of Gabrielle. In your hopes and dreams may all your chocolate bunnies not be hollow."

III. Coming Home to Lassie

It will be a cultural snapshot of these times in the country, suburbs, and city.

L. Edgar Otto (thoughts about this on facebook) Back at Racys, had surprisingly great ride back but no through Milwaukee, Mcdonalds cllosed at 4am waited till 5:30 the took the senic route walking South until county EE turned into Cameron street. Showered, shaved, fell asleep in the chair awhile. Thought of three parts to a short story around the theme of dogs.

L. Edgar Otto Out in the big city lights, all the lonely people reaching out through electric harmony and lost in the vast crowd of them; cell phones for hours on the bus chatting up hot mommas with dreams of being halfbacks - I learned the real world was really Farmville after all...

L. Edgar Otto It is liberating to know that if time's finely divided forever we cannot move; and that stranded anywhere what matters if we objects move meaningless objects from meaningless place to place? Two one sided arguments can fit together to make a one sided bottle and if we are lucky we share a vital cloverleaft intersectio...n so together awhile can hold water in Love's higher space.

*** Well, here is another attempt at writing the story:

Coming Home to Lassie by L. Edgar Otto

I began my journey to watch my son's dog, Bengi, in Chicago walking to the coffee shop where I would get a ride to the bus station no longer down town but miles out beyond the city limits. I passed by the shell of a Victorian historical house that had a fire last week. It reminds me of some of the burned out people I know. Entropy and kitsch, what was left of her mind I wondered after all the meth and any drug one could smash and shoot up. Or for those who think we have to hit rock bottom, go through the evil before we can see God and be redeemed, maybe we just come up to a brick wall. The castle in Chapel Hill called Gimghoul, now a place for a fraternity, once had a fire but you cannot see any charred evidence and broken glass from the outside. Maybe when we reach rock bottom all we find are brick walls.

But this is where I came back as if where I came in to the play where after a long time of knowing everyone in this small town I went again to see all the strangers after decades, to go in motion, in translation, and view the city lights of Chicago. I leave the bus and am dropped off at the bus stop well outside the beltway of the town on the interstate, at a MacDonald s which at four in the morning is dark and closed. The Indian lady with three young kids says goodbye to me as I leave the bus, and the lady from Tex arcana who talked and sit next to me - how surprisingly easy it seemed for me to make friends among the strangers- the long ride would have been most uncomfortable if this were not the case but I am not sure why people reacted to me this way. Even the bus driver got off and shook my hand.

But my ride was not there as we arrived early and I waited an hour and it did not show up. The next bus came by and the driver came out and asked me where I had come from and to see me waithing in the chill with my backpack if I were waiting for him. I said I came on bus 6933 and he said he meant what route I was on and I told him the express from Chicago and that Keith was a very good driver. So he said "Good, good."

When it does not really matter where one is nor how soon you have to be somewhere it is hard to feel isolated and stranded some place, but the old feeling as if waiting long hours for a ride on an empty Texas country road hitchhiking home from the service and the bus the only way since the airlines were on strike- I decided to to take the long walk back to the coffee shop down the country roads. I did not want to walk along the heavy traffic on the interstate. The bus ride was surprisingly pleasant so I thought the walk would be also. All those who complained along the way from Chicago seemed most isolated and miserable and annoyed with other people.

While my stay watching the dog the local channels had old movies and old sit coms which for a child as I remember them they were most profound and had moral messages but now I wonder what they would mean to this generation- they seemed so unreal to what the world has become and what we have become. Nevertheless it reminded me of Lassie as if I were the boy who had just been to the Metropolis and was surrounded again by the country, the farms and rural mail boxes and had to take a log stroll to Capital city away from the pure life on the farm. From the city lights I now saw the sun begin to hint of its rising as I saw some stars again through the clouds, so many lost friends in the city glare.

Now my world there seemed so random and dead reckoning to walk anywhere and somehow I found my way to a store or back home through the curving streets. But leaving the bus station I knew things were rather placed in lines North and South, East and West, the why they surveyed the Platts and the grids, the townships mapped out. As I was thinking of very complicated tangles of linear things I was startled to realize that it was as if the world was very strait and flat again, rectilinear. For as I looked south at six in the morning I saw ahead of me the half moon and I knew it iwas Sourh becaus the lit face of it faced the sunrise due East at a right angle. But what are the chances things would fit so much in place that one could not imagine a crescent or gibbuous moon? Did my mind full of abstractions for so long come back to the simple way to see the world as we first lean of space in early childhood?

So it was a matter of going down the long county road TT until I turned left a few miles down E which turned into Cameron Street through the middle of the city. I had to be carefulo when crossing the small bridges as there was nowhere really to walk, the sidewalks did not even begin until the three thousandth block over the bridge as Sherman Creek. All the country folk with mostly pick up trucks waved good morning to me. I knew they would give me a ride if I asked them but I was really enjoying the morning walk and the country sounds, the downright breathing and drinking in the living of it.

Highway E and ET intersected and this was a strange thought when I had though of E as energy as physics had been on my mind a lot over the last week- so ET seemed the more extra terrestial abstractness of it all as I went down that path. A sign past the township fire station on the road said THIS STRETCH OF HIGHWAY ADOPTED BY THE CHURCH OF ATHEISM. Which seemed to me a little out of place in the country setting. Yet it had been a week aslo of talking philosophy and religion with friends I had met on line and now in person in Chicago and one thing seemed still with us in our myths of liberty, free thought and respect even for the non-believers.

There was another road East, Folsom, but the sign said Dead End. So I kept going South. I did not know at the time the interstate cut the road somewhere as it came into town. If I had gone along the interstate it would have been much shorter and I could have caught a city bus at the city limits but as I was planning the whole walk I would need to go further South in the city anyway. There are moments of doubt in a walk longer than one might imagine but as the fiery clouds awakened in the sunrise I could see the water tower where the interstate met the city looking like a mushroom cloud in the distance so I knew when it was North of me I would be headed to the center of the city.

When I got near the center of town near Half Moon Lake, a part of the river where the old lumber jacks had stored logs and now was just an oxbow. Jay, the Nam vet who happened to live on that road stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride to the coffee shop. I said well I am almost home and should really get cleaned up first so I took a ride those few blocks. Now when I got into the truck Hoover and Old School, his Airedales I know well from the coffee shop, a dog friendly place, were happy to see me. They are not usually as human friendly as some of their species.

There are those I have met in the past who go from place to place just riding the bus and get Traveler's Aid for tickets to get there. While there is something noble to me about translation, the shear moving from A to B, it seems a little pointless and meaningless to me to spend the effort to do so beyond its own sake and pointless those souls caught in the buses in what they call "crisis flight". Yet in the deeper nature of space and time there seems to me such a thing also, a sort of "crisis running in place" as in our expanding world of so many more of us on the wayside and in the margins or beyond in blindness to the madding crowd, who can no longer move outside their little worlds and lives nor walk free in the limitless space where the glaciers have not leveled the gentle hills of the drift less area- they who can no longer walk nor breath outside their shell of rusty space ships.