to a man named sparks
by tobias crabtree
stand on this one square foot of dirt.
it doesn’t take that long to figure it out, just a lifetime. all the reckless actions and worthless words. all the late-night, i-don’t-know-how-to-solve-this, conversations. all the load-outs. all the empty whiskey bottles tossed out behind the shed so i won’t see them till i clean back there and then i think about my poor liver. all the girls done wrong. my heart. (that ol’ beast, all red and thumping and faithful but, oh my, so easily lost in the wildest of ways). and with my reason, firmly intact, or so i believe, and with my soul on the kite strings that stretch up just high enough to see back where i came from but never high enough to see into tomorrow, i realize that i am nothing but the breathing carbon of stars.
i don’t make it up. i didn’t do it myself. i don’t know about the origins of the soul, nor the destination of my ego. i reckon it’ll all be ok…and the alternative will also be ok, it has to be. when i stare into the stars, and i do quite a bit, i imagine the grandest distance. whoever said time travel is science fiction was incorrect. i go out there. at some point, when i leave this tick-tock reality behind, i will not check to see when it is. i won’t worry about the hour of my rising. i won’t keep my voice down. when my carcass drops, man, i have no doubt that i will find the belly of the river where the rocks are slick and heavy. i will go below and follow currents to the sea. i’ll be breathed through the 10-gilled sharks and i’ll be illuminated by the shine of the toothy critters down deep. and where the ocean and the sky come together, on grey horizons where there is no difference, i’ll move on out where the big whatever-else claims it’s own.
i spent some time with the smart guys, the holy folks. the ones who shine back. they don’t have a make or model. they come from out of the dust and take on human form and then they just go away. with little attachment there is waaay less need. i guess not wanting is just as good as having. so i’m trying to not want. of course, i’m a blithering idiot on a quest towards enlightenment, but that’s what makes it good. can a buffoon find his way? maybe not, but it’ll be entertaining to watch.
so i stumble around and fumble my words. the heart that i’m blessed with has taken some hits. it surely will never be like the young heart that was so ready to believe in love and romance; i’d rather track bigfoot, or go birdwatching for the chupacabra. love and romance are best left in the trash romance section of the bookstore (are there any bookstores anymore?).
but, night has fallen and i tap and key these words off to you and picture your smile, somewhere in the cold but getting warmer north, and i know that my soul knows your soul. i know that you are what makes me drop my cynical fists and want to see your face so i can feel ok about humanity. i guess i never minded the fight. i just didn’t realize how many rounds it was gonna be. i kinda figured i’da lost by now. so i keep getting up. i keep circling away from that stiff jab. i’m watching for that leg sweep. it’ll all be good as long as i keep tasting the blood on my teeth and feeling like i might, if i’m lucky, finish strong.
damn, i miss ya. t.