Monday, October 22, 2007

A cantata for the season

It is autumn. The hard breath of the planet daintily skirts across the quad at the university where I work whistling out a swath of leaves the color of broken stain glass across the cement lip of buildings and the sides of stationed vehicles, autumn offering it's raked seasonal tithe via incinerated back yard bushels alighted at dusk, autumn coating the west in elongated streaks of light rippling overhead into cranberry and copper sunsets before winking out, pinning the planet beneath a brisk tent of northern stars, the temperature of the earth free falling into a whisked frost of late October.

It is autumn.

The arrival of leaves littered in entrance ways to buildings like stale confetti--the orchestration of the earth christening the success of summer, the wayward maturity from last spring and the free for all fall of the atmosphere into a frozen tundra of glass and ice, the cold December morning where the earth is the color of a doffed wedding dress and your limbs wade in the raft of dreams looking for warmth and flesh to hold in the hush of night and, if you are lucky, the sight of her eyes and the morning static of her smile

It is autumn. The televised din of HD fireplace offering a muffled roar of the masses while thickly geared titans endeavor to shuffle the oblated geometry of a football over a metric configuration of lines and inches. The flaring orb of a pumpkin jeering back at you in a chiseled smile. The stolid crunch of scarlet leaves the color of rich menstrual blood. Cardboard colored leaves staining the planet in an alchemical refulgence of joy.

At night I walk, often nursing a cheap cigarillo, ambling beneath the illuminated globes of the same street lights my shadow first flanked across a decade earlier. Thinking about my writing. Entertaining my crushes--the woman with the wild hair and boots whose been gyrating around the tip rail of intrigue, whose face lit up as if with halogen pores when I gave her my shopping bag at save-o-lot so she didn't have to endure the train wreck line of patrons (she's religious and I wonder what she thought with my cubes of stacked beer and discs of frozen pizza and carafes of gatorade, all piled in my arms as if I were participating in some sort of corporeal game of Jenga). Thinking about the woman whose lushest curtain of gray hair (induced from an infinite spill of hours lodged in the ceramic studio) inspires me to no end. Whose forehead and cheekbones look like an unblemished thatch of country snow on Christmas morning as I try not to blush while musing over our botched
verbal dalliances.

Another autumn.The skeletal rib cages and sylvan rungs of the naked tree limbs marches across every meandering distillation of your thoughts reflecting back to previous autumns--the autumn you witnessed the reflection of your short hair in a square of tint of an airplane passenger window as the aerial vehicle lowered itself into the gravity of the planet and you gazed past your reflection waiting for her to meet you at the terminal. The autumn before your fathers death where after church and Sunday dinner you would watch the first quarter of the Bears game with your father before going outside in the center of the manner and volleying the football back and forth, your father, only 53 years old and in purportedly good health, oblivious of the cancer rollercoastering through his cells, oblivious that this particular autumn will be his last.

Thinking about the autumn where, the Saturday morning after thanksgiving I turned around and saw everything I have ever wanted in this planet traipse through the doors of my local Starbucks--the morning light splash of her smile spiritually complimenting my longings, escorting my every wild pulse and wayward wanderings--the impetus of my every late-night literary binge. The blessings. The joy. The eternity.

The earth clad in the attire of autumn.

I continue to walk across a canopy of autumn, spraying my thoughts into nocturnal tint of my thirtieth autumn, the planet two-stepping with the nearest day star 90 million miles away, still dancing nonetheless, in a familiar elliptical pattern and slope.

I strut past the house where I grew up. The house where a woman who one terse spring day emptied the breath out from the hydrants of my lungs now lives inhabiting perhaps the very bedroom where i encountered Whitman and scribed sophomoric stanza into battered notebooks every afternoon at the helm of a oak desk. Snatching a green leaf from the sweet gum tree my grandfather planted in the front Yard in the house that raised me. The tree he planted in the Autumn before he died when I was only six months old. My grandfather, lover of nature and himself a painter, who worked shit jobs after the second war, who loved Jesus and trees and struggled with debt. The tree on Sherman avenue is always the last tree on the block to turn any hint of copper. It remains green and rich usually into the dead end tea-bag gray of late November. The leaves, still emerald and rich on Halloween. A miracle sweet gum tree with spiritual bark. The tree which heard my moms morning prayers and supplications for twenty-five years. The tree that refuses to wilt and turn to gold until the last possible moment before a sea of white blankets the avenues of the planet.

The tree of life.

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