Prelude to a Prelude to a Prelude to a Prelude

It is a constant need of mine, as well as a constant requirement of my continued existence, that I continue to disassemble and then reassemble and disassemble again and repeat the parts of me in the recesses of my mind that made me who I am and led me to where I am today.
I like where I am today. There is little more to say about that.
Then there’s The Illness. It comes and goes and comes and goes again and it changes forms sometimes and lurks places, unseen until too late, haunting those same recesses of my mind because it knows damn well I can’t be so many places at once.

Bipolar is just a word today. I take just enough but not too much medication. It wants to happen to me sometimes; wants to pull me hard by the edge of my sweater in the park on an early autumn day in one direction, be it skyward or navel-gazing, be it brave, bold, shy, or afraid. I feel it, but I am not beholden to it like I was once, an idiot trudging down the long hard road to despair or more accurately self-immolation despite my self, and knowing the difference the whole way through the journey.

Today more of my energy goes towards moderating the more toxic combination of ADHD and occasionally severe and almost always there, somewhere, anxiety that form together into something that makes me both unable to hear what people are trying to say to me and at the same time unable to communicate the fact that I am trying to hear them. It is misdiagnosed as disinterest or distractedness or disregard. I understand why this happens. Mostly I keep working on that today, when I work on a million things at once, while at the same time working on knowing when to work on nothing.

 

 

 

 

retrograde

O
an
arrow
in tune, stare
down the horizon
aim true be joyful be
brazen be brave, an arrow.
dare you have a child, it becomes
more than solely your history, once
you have a child, you are given mystery.
once a child is no child, forces work upon
history, once a child is not a child, they hunt
down their own mysteries.
I am now a believer, and
I am a receiver, working
on my transmissions
working through
the conditions.

^–

When the atmosphere was right, 850 WHDH from Boston came in clear and true, “The Voice of Sports.” The Bruins, the Celtics, the Red Sox. Most nights in the summertime you could get a ballgame or two from somewhere. Local teams who played at townsite wore Boston colours. It was always something to look forward to, listening to a ballgame at the end of the day, before eventually being yelled off to bed. Sometimes you got a signal from as far away as Cincinnati late on a clear hot summer night. That was another world altogether, Cincinnati. It didn’t even seem real. Boston was palpable, and attested to, even if you’d never been you knew it wasn’t that far. People you knew had roots or relatives in Boston; Mary’s father had been there a thousand times. They said it was where the best went, because there was more money there. Boston was a lifetime away from the valley, but Cincinnati? Joe around the corner said he’d been there but he was full of shit about everything. The place might as well have been myth, except for the Reds played there and had some good young players and were in the newspapers. The Queen City. The Queen had a lot of things named after her. The ballfield was named after a jubilee of hers, whatever that was. Nobody ever called it what it was, whatever it was. What is it? It’s A Jubilee. What’s that? A jubilee. Might have missed that day in school.
It was always something to look forward to, and in the summer the signal came in clear and true and would for a week or sometimes weeks, lulling you into a false sense of security, letting you think it was there for good now. Then one night you’d go to the radio in the kitchen and try to tune in a ballgame after a shit day and there would be nothing. Too much weather in the way, too much electricity in the air, the ocean. Just cracks and buzzes that almost, hopefully, might have sounded like Curt Gowdy or later Ken Coleman’s voice coming in, picking up in the bottom of the second, finally, there for a moment, and you’d wait it out, fiddle with the dial some more, try to do something else, find nothing to do, wait, until in the end, you resigned yourself to a signal-less night. And you’d give up. Give it up with the radio and go to bed. Boston wasn’t out there tonight. You went off to bed, unsated, but The Voice of Sports would be back, and Boston would be back. They had started to call this year’s team “The Impossible Dream.” There were rumours Montréal was to get a team. People were already talking about who they might cheer for, and division of loyalties.

Small Goodbyes

Friday night.
Familiar rhythm.
(or)
Familial rhythm.
Or what passes
as known for
rhythm anymore, or
heard rhythm;
broken rhythm in an
old rhythm.
Pretend to look at
the television, but
listening,
listening.
And they want to let them all in.”
“[Something fucking tasteless] about The Village bathroom
and Canadiens hats
Reactionary, derogatory,
mild misogyny,
epithet/etcetera/afraid of change/unfamiliar etc. .
Silence,
corner of a mouth that
can never help but tip sideways in a
smirk/grimace/bemused way:
a different fight/a different day.
Brother does the same thing.
It’s all ice cubes and water
by the end of it,
ambiguous by design;
the end perhaps early;
always early compared to the ones
drawn out and bled.
Silent rhythm,
steady hand, divest,
nothing asked, nothing
needed, nothing
offered.
(listened/asserted/purported/converted)
Nothing is okay.
No, as in, nothing is just fine.
Couple, alongside,
stools wedged,
celebrate and he
grabs her by the cheeks in
buzz-on excitement:
7s, two hundred bucks, finally,
palpable outright-if-momentary joy,
but they might love each other.
Those same country songs
that always come on the jukebox,
played by the same guy
at the same time
like a theme song.
Hecklers halfway up the north row,
but fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke,
or whatever:analogy, no wasting worry,
twenty bucks to a hundred to zero
to forty down, fuck it, whatever,
the din and the exaggerated cries and his and the cigarette
butts on the sidewalk
and the game’s on and the ice is melted
and maybe, no, yeah
home before midnight.
Walk is just far enough, not too far,
want chips.
Not enough time in the day or days
in the week or weeks in the month or–
anyway,
merely saying quiet goodbyes
else they wouldn’t be quiet and
the girl said “I feel like I need a change but
I don’t know what it is.”
Probably shrugged,
noticed by either side or not,
not have much to offer
leaping on faith
and somedays, some days,
but now is now
and then was then
and then is now.

And it’s always now
until it’s over
but it’s not over.
Some things are over.
It ain’t over
’til it’s over.

*
Might not be in the old Hilltop again,
(how is it so…grey, in there?)
Tomorrow, what, a stupid-large shopping cart at Costco?
One of the cats worries about the future.
NTV comes in better in that corner of the room.
Holy Frig, Waiting for Fidel is on,

Joey and Geoff as the Odd Couple, NFB Guy as Straight Man
Joe rattles on about crime and alcoholism and prostitution, dope and poverty and slums;
(Yes, we’ll blow up their social structures, that’s what we’ll do)
does a soft sell on child labour;
(Those children, not those children)
the usual;
Geoff bronzes and remains fiercely intelligent,
belligerent, resplendent.
(“I didn’t bring a suit.”)
They owed each other.
An awkward situation where they
sit on the beach shirtless
and Joe looks like he wants his shirt back
and Geoff bronzes and does fucking headstands.
Various prophesies.
Remember that time those kids into the dope and the alcoholism gave him a Nazi salute?

The parking lot at that particular Tim’s is a fucking disaster.
Remember how it used to say “DESTROY POWER NOT PEOPLE” in McMurdo’s Lane?
“This world would be a good place for a terrorist” below Kimberly Row?
Fuck y’know, I barely do either, to be honest.

And the headlights don’t come on automatically like the ones I’m used to,
street signs clarify and announce themselves as I pass under them rather than wash over in blur,
across Major’s Path, the airplanes sometimes look like they might land on the road by my mother’s house,
some goodbyes I didn’t know until long after I’d said them,
and the world becomes huge when you measure the small.
Small hellos.