not a quitter

she was a great girl

kept me satisfied nights warm & rested

days sliding by sitting in her kitchen

talking of the world tides habits rides

& then

chopping logs for the winter stove

twisted my back couldn’t lift a roll

staggered back inside

she applied ointments potions unguents salves

laid me flat on the floor massaged my spine

left me needing so much more

& then

I slept fitfully until morning came

made it to the crapper

praying for rain holding on to anything

escape the pain

came the time for paper needing be done

& I couldn’t twist reach area one

& for a minute I wondered pondered on

could I ask? would she?

I made it to do what I had to do

flushed walked unsteady out of there

laughing some

you ok? what’s the matter? she asked

all concerned & I said back soft

just be very grateful

I am not a quitter hon’

not in peace

I sat down

where the great man wrote

to take a look

read from his book

& heard what he heard

saw what he saw

& I understood the words

had already fallen

for the idea

some time ago

felt the sense of place

exit from cities

foul humanity

dirt squalor disgrace

but I was not the only pilgrim

others had been before

& no doubt more

will come

like those who leave their litter

bottles cans paper plastic

homage corrupts if the wanderer

comes for bragging rights

not in peace

any ember would do

the years

sat in chairs

on walls

flat out on the ground

clogging up corners

scrawling on paper

filling up cheap notebooks

staring into space

working out the line

losing jewels gems

scattered in dead spaces

sent to people

surrounded by reams of words

who were always

past caring on paid time

sending them back

more often not

while I waited for the fire to catch

any ember

would do

sketch

cigarette smoke

curling in the air

blue against grey

white walls

she wanted to draw me

as I sat thinking

tho’ I was wondering

how any of this

just might work out

until she threw the pencil

pad paper down

shouting

fuck it I’m done

take me for a drink

now!

it would be a year

before the sketch came back

it was me

but not a me

I wanted to see

cold aloof alone

but by then

she too

had moved on

devotion

the energy

devotion

walking the pavements

falling in love

with every pretty girl I’d see

admiring their reflections

& I’d do the rejection work

all for free

this one looks contented

married

& that one couldn’t possibly

to then go where I called home

sitting there with paper

staring down at the line

not understanding

if I needed therapy

I’d already done the work

walking those streets

no message

days I didn’t feel a thing

checking my pulse against the ticking clock

had I died in the night

forgotten to breathe

sitting there or lying there

no difference between moments

as the sun scaled the walls

not thinking of anything

no over thoughts to drive the day

under ideas bringing up the rear

only moments passing clouds in a grey sky

nobody came to check up on me

I had no one I wanted go visit

as the days passed turned to weeks

I set the typer up on a counter

found old paper & sat

waited waited

to bring no message to you