Search Party

I

Do you remember
our drives to school?
Picking each other up
& riding through the valley?
Rounding the bends,
rising up the road together,
traversing dead ends & wide open spaces?

We had light & time back then,
a search party on wheels.
We had no phones.
We had no plans.
Trying out ideas, trying on ourselves.
Young, unknown, crafting a code.
Just our immediate,
just the immediate.

II

Ten years later
I’m one thousand miles away.
Stopped driving when I hit the ocean.
Starting my days
on a back porch, alone.
Wondering each morning,
wandering in my head.
A ritual of modern anxiety,
a search for
audience, income, contact.
Clear points, blurred lines.
Revelations in exile,
in here & out there.
Can establishments be reversed?
Can the enigmatic, now frightening, paralyzing
become thrilling once more? Twice more? Three times?

III

The search party is long separated.
New influences, new airs in the proceeding years.
Itineraries thoroughly arranged &
destinations defined, as is the custom.
Packing, leaving behind.

I find it hard to pretend nowadays.
Back then, it wasn’t pretend:
it was us imagining a
real, altered, immediate state,
readily getting out of our own way.
We knew what we were doing
when we didn’t know what we were doing at all.

(9/10/2016 – Adams Point, Oakland, California)

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