Dots on the hill


Last Friday in the States until sometime next spring. Moon fattens to a claw. Danced the trifecta of drink starting with Tequila out of pint glasses sucked through straws, licking the sides, backcountry animal tongue. Took the morning walk to the ranch, the sun a messy egg, good for battered eyes.

Exchanged my map of Croatia for the Michelin one because you can’t tell where the countries start and end, but it’s the same in the Michelin one, borders are purple bands with cross marks that look like healed-over scars and probably feel that way.

Names in all caps like SPLIT, RIJEKA, TRIESTE (where Joyce lived), LJUBLJANA, ZAGREB, BANJA LUKA, SARAJEVO. Some N’s going backwards, an unnatural Yoga pose, И. Red ferry boats like game pieces on a map with dotted arcs trailing off to islands with impossible names. Thousands of places to get lost, disappear.

Finished Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, a sextet for soloists. “Implausible truth can serve one better than plausible fiction and now was such a time.”

Got Alex’s email in the UK from Drew, traced my way to Alex by way of Drew, via Dana, from Jim Kwiecinski, Chris Petrauskas, a basement in a fraternity house, the screenplay of our lives scattered over time and space.

Clouds fanned out in scallop shapes seem to breathe, or maybe it’s just me. Blades of cornfield ears shoosh when the wind stops, yield to distant engines, clanking jaws of Progress and development take the land in sloppy mouthfuls, spit out the unwanted parts, the bones.

Recalled 10 days in Germany over Christmas, getting up before dawn in the wrong time zone, hurrying into the dark and up the stone, Roman steps to the top of the valley, the vineyards, first light filling in, spotting my mom’s house below, imagined looking back upon myself here, a dot on the hill. Wrote a poem about the sound the train makes cutting through the valley, a sword, a dry whistle. Knife goes in, knife comes out. Realized I hadn’t used my senses in forever it seemed. Fancied a physical journey could allow a spiritual one.

Blew snot on the shoulder Euro-style, slipped back into the house and wrote before I ate.

Moon will be full when we arrive this time next week, the second time this month. Lands on the six-year anniversary of my first blog post, queer, not planned that way. Fiction and life more interesting when it doesn’t fall in the sequence that’s expected.


Categories: poetry

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. Some very nice phrasing here, Bill. More to say, but trying to type from my phone is torturous. Sitting in cloud of chlorine at public pool, while concrete is being torn up on the street. Sloppy mouthfuls indeed.


  2. “The sun a messy egg.” Damn, I might just have to go and swipe that one!

    We all hope you’ll have robust internet access wherever you roam.


  3. Amen to that. Cloud Atlas hovers on my to-read horizon. Started A Soldier of the Great War, Mark Helprin, my 860-page book for vacation, which starts today. Hey ya.


  4. i love the last line of this very much.


  5. Very much looking forward to the tales from the next leg of you adventure.


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