Open the pod bay doors, Hal

Kreuzberg storefront, Berlin

Kreuzberg storefront, Berlin

The river’s too high, it brings no calm. It moves with the force of a mob squeezed down the streets, knows not where it goes just that it must, turns from brown to gray, slaps the sides, moves with the grace of snakes.

Back on the autobahn in the morning still dark it’s a video game of lights before coffee and the navigator warns of ice, blinks with its blood red eye, speaks in its sexless tones. And what would the American Indians think of us, the savages, would they wave their sticks at the screens and call us demons, in the hides of the beasts they’ve slain, their spirits?

With all the time we’ve bought back now how to use it, to write thank you letters and poetry, read paperbacks, play vinyl. Open the pod bay doors Hal, brush the needle, make the crackle stop.

But the river moves with the force of something that’s been released and can’t be put back. I climb the stone ladder through the vineyards to the woods where I catch a deer, then two, and they climb above me beyond the engines and the blades cutting down trees, stacked on the hillsides drying, opening the land like a book, cutting along the seams.

I take a side road to write, the snow’s Morse code as it melts, the stone’s lichen brows, a quiet place to be.

And along the autobahn the pale, frost covered fields and valleys come into view, the miles fall away, the road narrows down like a river through the choke points, the A81 to the A5, the A6 — cars move like game pieces, like avatars — and in the dark of the morning and the nights when there’s nothing to think about I sift through the scenes of where we’ve been and it blurs, and I wonder if I’m empty inside or full, how we measure such things, and how we know.

Above the vineyards, Besigheim

Above the vineyards, Besigheim

 

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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23 Responses to Open the pod bay doors, Hal

  1. ksbeth says:

    ‘the snow’s morse code as it melts…’ – brilliant. p.s. i love the title.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rossmurray1 says:

    That’s some graceful prose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Do I smell home cooking? It’s only the river. Look at that video from Talking Heads Stop Making Sense film sometime for the song “Cities.” Makes me think I’ve wasted my life when I could have been doing that, assuming I were David Byrne.

      Like

      • rossmurray1 says:

        Grilled cheese for the wife, last of the chocolate chip cookies for me. (The secret is to throw a handful of rolled oats in the batter…)
        I haven’t heard that song for ages. That’s such a good concert film. My main memory of it, though, is that the audience was so middle-aged bland white. Granted, I might have been a little stoned at the time.
        Meanwhile, I’m writing my radio piece on why young people in this region aren’t wearing condoms. High art.

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Wash your hands and your mouth when you’re done. Just made a 59-song playlist and popped a Cremant. Eating Wasa, dry.

        Like

      • rossmurray1 says:

        Dry Wasa sounds like a penance for your pleasure, you self-flagellator you. (Is ‘self-flagellator’ redundant?)

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Roman expats in Germany with Def Leppard and mixed nuts.

        Like

      • walt walker says:

        I understand this conversation about as well as I understand Cockney rhyming slang, which is to say not at all.

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Mom and I trying to piece together Cockney just now, can’t remember any, no bits or bobs. Sorry. Got nothing for you, Hal. (“He’s in his elephant (trunk, drunk)”)

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Do you think, when Lily turns 11, she’s old enough for The Big Lebowski? I’m voting Yes.

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      • rossmurray1 says:

        It depends what she’s been exposed to prior. Otherwise, it might be confusing and a little scarring. It needs context. Maybe have her first watch The Maltese Falcon. You should also walk around yelling “Shut the fuck up, Lily!” at everything she says.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        She’s had some exposure so far. Good advice, thanks. Life is hard and ridiculous and often fruitless. I’ll make sure to remind her that.

        Like

      • rossmurray1 says:

        Probably already had exposure to German nihilists.

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      • pinklightsabre says:

        They mean nothing to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “But the river moves with the force of something that’s been released and can’t be put back.” Nice.

    We walk along a local river three or four times a week, maybe more, and can never get enough of that sensation. It seems like the same river each time, but it’s a completely different river and it’s changing before our eyes. Kinda makes you think

    Ours is fed by a dam upstream, so it has literally been released. Not sure if it makes it’s way to the ocean … or get diverted to L.A.!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. daveply says:

    I don’t know if I should be confused or awed. I bounce between “huh?” and “wow”.

    Like

  5. I would say you are both empty and full inside. And we, your humble readers, enjoy that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Paperbacks and vinyl is a juicy turn of a phrase. That’ll be the name of my first album, after I learn guitar and form a band. What goes on in that vineyard perch?

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Good record name. The perch appears to be one hunters might have used to spot deer. I’ll have to check on that. Time for me to cook gumbo now: get ready for that roux. May you roux the day my friend.

      Like

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