Whatever has caused stars to cross and align
Is rewriting the sky as she’s falling through time
When old had been done and was all but divine
Comes a reckoning force as she’s falling through time
Written on Christmas Eve, 11 P.M:
I’d like to say that I’ve been filled with an incredible insight appropriate for a toast. Standing before the watchtower as the clock strikes midnight, my fingers would clasp around massive scissors and slice through the crimson ribbon, smiling for tomorrow’s cover story on the arrival of America’s favorite holiday. I’d squint through the camera flashes and say some crap about our wonderful savior and goodwill so that everyone could tear up and tell me how beautiful the speech was, and just where it touched them and how. Cut the church bell clamor, freeze that bogus illusion and wait for it to crack under its lies. If the mistletoe and overplayed crooner-carols are hitting all the wrong notes with you, don’t attack the carolers outside just yet.
You’ve got to look into it before you see through it. And you have to see through it, or you’ll never get over it.
Pierce the pockets of that designer jacket and look at the fat roll of folding money they’ve been carrying up and down the streets – watch it turn into plastic sacks with handles and craziness of want lists and to-do’s. Disappointed? Go deeper. Right through the man, to the boy keeping up beside him. His son is asking if Santa stops his sleigh for the homeless.
When Daddy can’t give a straight answer, the boy, concerned and unsatisfied, lets go of his father’s coat and starts to approach an old bum, unafraid. Obviously, he is retrieved immediately by his father and escorted along and away…but the kid looks back, a few blocks on down. Briefly enough so as to not lose step with his father, two brown eyes peek out above a bright scarf…the only proof in an otherwise shameful scene, that all is not lost.
Father and son pass me by in a dream. And so is the view from here, at the watchtower. There isn’t a herd of media. There are no microphones. The ghost of Christmas past is sitting on the concrete stairs beside me, with arms folded under his chin. A donkey rests in the dark with us, nosing my sleeve. I figure the animal’s in my imagination because I was dressed like one in my youth group’s Christmas Story, years years and years ago. One of those claymation California raisins from the classic holiday tv special is out here, too. He isn’t as serious-looking as the other spirits and religious figures gathered, though. The santa hat probably helps him look playful like that.
I couldn’t tell you what they’re all doing in this passage, tonight. None of them are talking and I feel like I’ve come by a drug-tripper’s backstage pass by happenstance, permitted to be having such a vision. What are they all guarding, perched like festive gargoyles in my head? Is that what happens to sugarplums as we get older? Did that little girl across the street just wave at that misfit toy? God, it’s cold. I’m always cold at night.
*** *** *** *** ***
“That’s fucking shit,” I decided on Christmas Eve, and flipped down the laptop. If I had no clue what it was, I wasn’t going to throw it out at 400 eyeballs (assuming my registered onlookers all have both eyes) to see what would happen. Lacking the center, I had no idea where I was or what was going on – I couldn’t find the words for everyone out there who hates this time of year and prays for it to be over soon. It might not have been too bad to have pulled a Britney, abandoned all responsibility and driven anyone who read the words to their proverbial cliff… I guess I could have admitted at the time, that on a night of importance I was without the first clue. Telling my pet cat who kept jumping up on the back of my chair with her fat ass pulling us over backwards, to get the fuck away from me. Feverishly tipping back Diet Pepsi cans, cursing each one for ruining my taste for Coke with their acquired voodoo they pulled after I drank one too many. Now, it’s all sour plastic caramel water. Thanks a lot, you tin sons of bitches.
Well, I’m standing upright. That’s a plus. I write my heart out late at night when no one’s looking and still fall into bed covered in Marvel X-men. I’m no kind of voice. If this was the last day on Earth, I’d just shrug and think, “Ain’t that a motherfucker.” Ah, the poet’s message. My great American novel’s last sentence, I tell you.
Ain’t that a motherfucker.