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Ian Harris

TWO LONELINESSES

 

I am sleeping on a crappy cloud in a motel in Clovis, CA. a long time ago.

Greg Louganis is peppering my late childhood with incontrovertible dives,

and Marco Pantani climbs in the Dolomites. The A-frame is on fire because

I have set in on fire. Clovis, CA, February 1993. What follows

 

is the mountainous region, furnished with cloudlets and minty portions

of Douglas Fir. There is the sense of it being farther afield than it truly is. At night

the demeanor of the mountainous region gives the illusion of it being lit from inside

in the manner of icebergs, which appear to collect light and apportion it evenly on their surfaces.

 

That infintisimal pink dot right there is Marco Pantani with a high hematocrit and bent like a cat.

He is riding for Mercatone Uno and is beautiful in the mountains.That blot of orange is the Euskaltel-Euskadis.

Those flags are Basque flags. The wind is bending around the mountaintop, the sun chalking the cliffs, etc.

 

Marco Pantani, Italian cyclist, dead a long time, it turns out is my spirit guide

and he wears the Maglia Rosa and waits out the night with me. This night is beautiful.

The fire puts firelight all over Marco Pantani, the Maglia Rosa, and me.

Little wiry boars bruise around in the moonbeams.

 


THE WORLD IS AS WHALE-DARK AS

 

One minute you’re getting adjusted and the next

Qaddafi rises a second time onto the world stage

well before the Mayan Calendar expires.

 

I was just getting used to the nautical décor

of the Earth, and the agreed-upon history

of the New World. We’ve agreed

the Anasazi began dressing in the clothes

of earlier eras before they stepped out

of their homes one day and turned

into stardust or whatever,

leaving a good amount of gold behind.

 

In truth, the Anasazi relocated in the early 13th,

a bit like my dad getting the job

in California in the late 20th

 

and me meeting you and falling

in love and then breaking up for reasons

I don’t remember and then

running into you a few years later

with your kids and worse for wear.

 

Anyway, I was just telling Jonah

if there’s a chance in hell Qaddafi

will agree to come to the party, now is the time.

You can tell him there’ll be the customary mint tea

and an ice sculpture suggestive of ‘Bird Swallowing Fish,’

presently posed at the Pompidou in utter darkness

(it is midnight in Paris) not unlike the darkness

in the belly of a whale, so I can imagine.

 

My T-shirt with a Ferrari on it

is again hot shit, saith Nietzsche.

If you wait long enough the world comes around,

even if you’ve swiped planes from the sky. Even for

unlucky utterances like this whose pearly airspace

is decorated with Lockerbie and Challenger

and the bicycling arms of Christa McAuliffe.

 

If you wait long enough

the whale spills you out.

Even if into an embarrassingly lonely sea.

 

I’ve just drunk a whole bottle of wine.

The ice caps are melting.  

 

In the movie version I hold your hair

as you puke. Or I grow up in, say, Chino

but am adopted by the OC and you live next door.

I take back the part about Christa McAuliffe,

which was in bad taste. I apologize.

And when I’m making love to you

I’m making love to Mischa Barton.

Or Helen of Troy or whatever.

 

I’m beginning to understand what’s meant

about the undertones in this Chardonnay,

And when I say this Chardonnay

I mean us, goddammit. You and me.

 

There, I said it. Leaving

a good amount of gold behind,

we step out to get the newspaper,

and there’s a slippery patch of ice

or an ice skater with a lead pipe

or lead paint snowing into our cereal bowls.

 

 

BEING AND NOTHINGNESS

 

Surely there is more to life than taking a wife and resting on Sunday. I open

an orange. I fly a kite. I take a flashlight to check on the horses and the horses are doing just fine.

The universe, which is Alaska multiplied by a thousand, is wadded in the sky over there.

 

I watch pornography in the outbuilding until late afternoon. Everything looks dusky and gold,

which is a function of the time of day. The horses have horses born to them. The foals slip out

onto the turf. 

 



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