Friday, February 03, 2006

Classic Michael Appleby

Longitudinals
Right now there is only one thing that I want to ask you

And the telephone is an atlas and an encyclopedia away.
And I don’t want to say this room reeks of loneliness because that would be too desperate.
And I want to tell you that all I smell right now is jasmine from the incense burning atop my bookshelves and when I shamble by them I am really burying myself deep in the mess of hair atop your head and looking for a suitable spot where I can sleep.
And I want to tell you that John Coltrane is playing “Blue Train” and it’s still upbeat and lively in here while his saxophone tumbles down notes that disappear, fall from their longitudinals, dropping out of sight
And it’s all so lovely because the bass strings your skin and I am the bass player and I’m thumping along, keeping up clumsily, dreaming I’m playing you, strumming you; find a rhythm and slither down in heat, beat, push pulses down to the tips of our toes.

Do you dance?
I want to ask.

And I’m tired of being maudlin, it’s one of the worst drug habits a junky like me can ever hope to find; prop your head up against a fire hydrant, drunk, throw out your love blithely and hope that some of it comes back to you.
And the operative wish right now is that I will find you in bed with me in the morning and it’s the operative wish because I know that when I wake up I won’t wish I was somewhere else and I won’t wish I hadn’t just finished making a mistake.
And I want to tell you that all I want is to find that right thing, the thing that feels right, the thing that doesn’t fill me with regret, the thing that just is because it was meant to be. That’s some thing.
And I don’t even know if you could listen to this music or read these words or smell this smell, walk these paces, trace this face, know my name and fall into it
And I want to get up to walk across the world in 276 pages, across the accumulated knowledge of species summed up tidily in 26 volumes I never have the patience to read.
And I want to get up.
And I want to get up
And get to that phone and dial your number and even if it’s really late and I have to wake you up for art.
And even if it’s really late and I have to wake you up for art I still want to ask you for a dance because the drum rolls through “Locomotion” and it’s calling me and I’d like to believe it’s calling you.
And I’m still in my house-slippers and it’s okay. I’m still in a bathrobe and that’s just fine. I’m still waking up as an antithesis to the rest of the sane little world.
And the atlas makes the world seem like a great big place. 276 pages big.
And the encyclopedia is huge, it’s everything that we know.
And if I could just get up right now I know I could walk past it all to call you and ask:

Do you dance?

And there are cabbies who are practically bedding down in their taxis tonight; it’s getting late.
And somewhere far off I can imagine the midnight janitors mopping away wolf whistles, black sky in copier toner; picking up the pages of the written words tossed confetti down the linoleum hallways of our workaday world.
And the incense is burning down to thin stick; the ashes are accumulating.
And I wish that tomorrow wasn’t a part of the financial scheme.
And I wish that “Lazy Bird” drifted along ad infinitum.
And it was you and me and these dying snare drum hits that roil against death, sound out.
And it was you and me and the tumbling and the ease and I want to ask you, if you please:

Do you dance?

2 comments:

heavymetalpetal said...

When you read this at the Blue Chair I was so freaked out that we both read poems with atlas/encyclopedia imagery in the same week! At first I was moved that we both had the same thought and then I suffered similar disappointment to someone trying to register an email address. I apologize if you felt the same disappointment.

Michael said...

I'm not sure I follow.