Photography © by Tammy Ruggles (Awaken)
I am tired of being a roach of a man
Left in the dust of love
Under the thumb of bad ideas,
Guilt and co-dependence,
Crawling these empty rooms
Draped with shadows and breathing
Cupped in the hollows of my ear.
I am tired of my ears, the sound of dreams,
Wires struck with stones.
My tinnitus, a nubile violinist
Strolling canals beneath my brain.
How delicious it would be
To stop the ringing
Without reason the daylight rests
Its engine under the idling sun
And warmth of the road home.
Breezes push the wheat in waves
And dancing over one hundred acres.
They nudge me along
To a tree where the shade beneath it
Is love, a blessing to the mind
Overheated with crows
I don’t want to go on as Stick Man
With a job and lots of money,
Worthless in the sight of Love,
Which would have me
Stroll among panthers in this town
With the shining eyes
My hair on fire,
My soles pressed to earth
And spears of grass flying up
From canyons between my toes.
Why be an inheritor of anything,
My love, except your volcano
And its eruptions,
I raise my chorus of thoughts
In praise, my face an open mouth.
I heft love’s bass drum to my chest
And begin marching.
Alan Basting was born in Detroit. He earned an M.A. in English/Creative Writing at Colorado State University and a M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University. His chapbooks include Singing from the Abdomen (Stone-Marrow Press); What the Barns Breathe (Windows Press); Suddenly, Herons, The Writers’ Cooperative of Toledo and Deep Time, Daily Habits and Events (The Arts Commission of Toledo, Ohio). His most recent collection is Nothing Very Sudden Happens Here (Lynx House Press). He lives in the heart of the Manistee National Forest near the village of Bitely, Michigan, with his spouse and two dogs.