Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Blue Pages 1.8 — Jordan Potter

© Jeff Miles

This never happens. 
These Flashes of lightning
While driving down the 405 from LA.
Their clouds, like cargo, are off in the distance,
Our sky adulterous and naked as ever.
But those wreathes of lightning
Are unmistakable.
And traffic is miraculously smooth for 6pm.
Usually, it's stopped dead here around Rosecrans.
A river of red lights chiseling slowly at our patinas,
Faces half-cocked into bright other lives,
Tires rolling slow as a lazy susan;
Every now and then, a near miss,
And someone looks up.
Briefly, their faces are green
From the interplay of blue and red.
But tonight is different. We're on the move.
Something surreptitiously awoke in everyone,
And wherever we're all going,
We gotta get there faster! Faster!
I'm doing at least ninety, Thelonius Monk
Is doing a hundred on the keys,
And the lightning is a hot hand
Slapping the air like a high hat,
Too far away for thunder, but I know
Everyone else is watching it, too.
Regardless of our lives, where we go,
We all bear witness to it.
None of us can tell each other
How amazing we think it is,
Which makes it all the more amazing.
This must have been how religion began.

While You're Asleep

In my neighborhood, walking.
It is the last night of summer
And I am committing and destroying
These same sentences to memory,
Undated, unsure of what may
Speak for the wind creeping between
My fingertips and the fingertips of fern
And palm. No one seems home,
The houses dark, forgettable.

Man will forget the nights like these.
Nights where the wind gives him
Nothing to think about but the limit
Of his meanings.
Frustrated with all he has been given
So far, exhausted in use,
Man, who has only known forms
And how to fix them, spreads thin
His reasons, ductile as the cheapest
Copper conduit. Whatever he has found
Speaks only of its finding, no verb
Completely concentrated to noun.

And tonight, I am man's single representative.
Fugitive leaves tumble
Around my feet, the sidewalks
Blanching with the newly installed lamps
For which no one asked.
This is what I mean
And will continue to mean
about dominion,
Its many insecurities.

Sorting Mail

If anything is epitaph, it's this. 
The true eulogy of our daily lives.
All our subscriptions. Donations, hat in hand.
Return service requests, quarterly polls,
Annual interest rates. Have you found Christ?

How transactions can resurrect the dead!
Like ventricles we crawl inside machines
As if a kind of circuit-promised-land,
Necromancers with billing addresses
Auto-dialed to life. This world lives twice:

Once in pageant, once in document,
Minds rattling like an open drawer of knives—
Then almanacs. In tides, reminders
Tell us who's in charge, whose word extols
And who sets the new price,

So when I see your name printed just now
Above a credit card pre-approval, it means
That, though you've been gone for years, those senders
Thought you fit to live again. Second chances
Have never looked so nice,
Smiling faces encouraging new life, 
Ads for cantaloupe and T-bone steak,
Two for the price of one, while supplies last.
How long the printed shadow of the past!
Free sample! Last chance! Your details inside.

Jordan Potter is a writer and actor from Huntington Beach, CA. Having just received his master’s from UCLA, he is a screenwriter of four feature films and three shorts, some of which have appeared in film festivals around the world. His studio, Blank Verse Films, produces recitations and dramatic reenactments of poems.

No comments:

Post a Comment