Taking the train on Sunday (a poem)

A new typewriter poem on a bright Sunday afternoon…

The channel’s not really going out
it just seems that way
thanks to creative stereo imaging
and partial high-frequency hearing loss
on one side

It’s my own fault
whatever the aural thrills
of standing six feet from the stage
to see Merzbow and Masonna
not wearing any kind of earplugs
was not a smart move

But I must still count myself lucky
since this was pre-laptop era Merzbow
and I don’t hear much about Masonna anymore

I have other ways to overload my senses now
not all of them are good
not all of them are intentional
but they feel effortless
and sometimes it’s fun to have fun without trying

Or at least I try

As the digital makes way for the tactile
I’m reminded of how messy fun can be
but it’s the flaws that reflect me
and sometimes show me things I wouldn’t see
if I were looking only inside the lines

Plus not all of the things I fill in are satisfying

I paint on the same canvas again
adding new colors to cover up the old
or color what comes through
so it reminds me of something else
like when I look out the window
and see a summer afternoon twenty years ago

or maybe yesterday
before the rain started coming down

or walking to the train station
on my way to the record shops in Shibuya
because I’m still excited about music
and I’m always looking for that something new
to fill in the spaces
between my other obsessions

Those were the times when I’d stop
at that one little corner
with the vending machines
and tall, round tables
to have a cigarette and coffee
while reading the new Rolling Stone
before catching the train back home

I live in a city that doesn’t have trains—
they think they do, but not until 2025
and that’ll be just one line connecting two parts of town

The suburbs are out of luck
they’ll have to live with buses and bad traffic
for the foreseeable future

In many cases (including mine)
that won’t be until long after they’re gone

But I live within walking distance of the store
so it’s no big deal for me

Look—I’ve lost my original train of thought
and gone off on some tangent
where not even the buses go

Either way, it’s Sunday
and I have nowhere I have to be
and nobody I have to see

so I can mix any colors I want on the canvas
and paint over them if I don’t like the result

and put some words on the page in the meantime
continuing the narrative
that likely makes sense only to me
but may turn out to make its own sort of sense
once the frame has been put in place

the full stop to the sentence

lines drawn

— fin —

(27 May 2018)