Lines of Embarkation
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Dear diary.
This was leaving home after all.
Not wishing on a star or sucked unawares
by a tornado but real unfucking packed.
Lock, stock & barrel.
Barely enough to fill the trunk of a car.
A small car.
The things that identify a life.
A portable Smith-Corona typewriter with well-used ribbon.
2 suitcases containing clothes, toothbrush et cetera
& 4 books:
Cortazar's Hopscotch.
Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers.
Rimbaud's Collected Works.
Spicer's Collected Books.
Only room for a couple of dead bastards.
Destined for no desert island
      practical underwear replaced
            the proverbial 6 others.
A few cassettes. Some broken oil pastels.
Coloured pencils. Exacto knife. Glue.
Set squares. The dimensions of the Great
Egyptian Pyramid.
What was I planning?
A photo of my best friend giving me the finger.
Not much to show for 36 years.
A few bucks in the bank.
Saving on air fare flying the red eye.
No job.
No star.
Vancouver to Toronto non-stop. 4 1/2 hours &
a woman waiting on the other end.
The only guarantee.
Drinking all day beginning with beer
then into the wine
working on rum & Cokes about the time
I was dragged off to grab a meal
surprised with a party of friends & family
everyone wanting to buy me a drink
1, 2, 3, 5, 9, et cetera, a row of 'em, all
making it to the airport just before pumpkin hour
3-sheets to the wind. Everyone goofy as hell.
People crying, hugging, kissing, shaking hands
meanwhile the plane
pushing me forcibly thru the gate saying
goodbye, goodbye
my brothers mooning me from the window
their bare asses squashed against the glass.
Unreal as a dish of Escher ice-cream
one thing melting fuzzily into another.
Feeling like some character in a crazy Hollywood flick
about the innocent & groovy sixties.
If I look at my feet I'll be wearing one glass slipper
& the credits will roll. There'll be music.
Simon & Garfunkel singing, 'Mrs. Robinson'
The Lovin' Spoonful doing 'You're a Big Boy Now.'
I couldn't stomach that.
I'd puke for sure.
Meanwhile the camera pans the crowd.
Close-up of the bare asses.
The lonely hallway.
The plane.
Moving backwards across the runway.
Shot of the night sky.
Credits rolling but I can't see my name.
Music playing but I can't make out the tune.
Goodbye. Goodbye.
Maybe something about a rainbow.
About a bird.
I'm on the jog. Bouncing wall to wall.
Having to piss like a racehorse.
Goodbye. Goodbye.
I make it to my seat.
I buckle in.
I look down at my feet.
Runners, thank Christ. 2 of 'em.
We're in the air. I use the head.
I wash my face.
I look in the mirror until
I see something I recognize.
Yeah. That's it.
I go to my seat.
I order a rum.
I don't look out the window.
I close my eyes & breathe.
Just breathe.