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John Eivaz


                for Nick

this morning
i stand relaxed on my patio

and this leonard cohen song
There Is A War
sneaks up on me
through something my buddy nick said
tripping around europe on a rail pass
a few decades ago with
deirdre while i pumped gas
in yonkers and this was a few years before
i lived with her for a few years
and did things people might do until
it changed     a traffic light     new grooves
she married soon after
what do i know of her now
her daughter ran away     she maybe freelances some

i think
at times nothing lives better than cliche
until the erosion begins     myself
i got married and divorced and have two sons
who live with me

desperate i write fearful to imagine
my day without     it will come
i can always steady myself
see each sunrise the same
sleep in it

nick with bad accent looking for a train

ou est le guerre?
ou est le guerre?

confused     laughs

leonard invites me
to come on back to the war

nick's words the refrain
everything is silent
i have a smoke outside

ever thought suspiciously of comfort
but for my worn bones     still
a call and response unheard outside
points like math finalities
a trickle and shimmer of forecast
erases all the names easily
but my own     the song

uneasily sung
more words     another language
easy to misunderstand
to mean

embrace the forest

                for PJ

the trees the trees
we write about

                 if it doesn't seem stupid
                 it's self-obsessed
                 when it's self-obsessed
                 it still seems stupid

what to do with the maple tree in the yard:

     attach clotheslines from kitchen windows
     carefully carve out some bark give the tree an ass
     run and jump into leaf piles
     tie up your brother snug against it
     catch fireflies under its darker dark
     pass out drunk watch it curve above you

someone carries you in
you don't know where you are
but you want some thing
mellifluous     as in
one shape becoming another
the progress of a sweet verseless song

                 this was my life
                 inside your life
                 collecting like the taste
                 of melting sugar
                 the sound of the sea

                 collecting the sound of the sea
                 becoming the sea

maple tree

and what are your minutes like?
do you name them?
i can't afford more
than generic minutes
so far seems enough

like a sap bucket somewhere upstate
i fill

         and for what?

trees trees
we write about

©2004 by John Eivaz

John Eivaz was born in New York and lives in California. He loves to write, because it is the cheapest thing one can do for fun when one is broke. He writes a lot, and has been published online and in print in various places, including past issues of Slow Trains and its first print anthology. In past incarnations he was the editor of MiPo~Print and the poetry and flash fiction editor of the Erotica Readers and Writers Web site. His writing has been recognized online by the IBPC, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He works at a winery. Read more of his work at the Web site he shares with P.J. Nights.

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