Friday, February 05, 2016

geranium street, pittsburgh 1967-68

one gas space heater labored
to keep the second floor apartment
warm enough
aluminum siding
flapping in the wind
in this experimental living situation
sometimes we'd watch the blue flames
in a darkened room
like they were a fireplace
belonging to judy collins
or buffy sainte marie on cripple creek
speaking to us in notes and moments
in time being marked
and then consummated 
     spontaneity meant that
there would be no turning back
from the inevitable
bound to be lonely
every decision thereafter
feeling like worn through boots
for a wishful thought

from the surface of every unmarked road
there was incongruity
loss of wholeness
an empty treeless coal fog hollow
visualized angst
leaving only one way in and out
footsteps blindly retraced each day
past new experiences
missed in translation

by summer
bodies had replaced barricades
tie-dye mixed within the text
of a half-dozen slogans
from a mimeograph machine
rippled over every alleyway
a teeming heat wave
made of dreams
deep black ink
marking songs
to grow
beyond the hollows
to free the rivers
to square the city steps
to lift the stones of sisyphus
with love

--- e b bortz

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