Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

John Eivaz

to myself, at 52

there are times when you tell yourself
you're not old, you still struggle to prove this
but somewhere a voice mimics your own
and the sounds it makes hope for a speedy end,
hope that it all ends soon -- the struggles, you mean,
all you meant were the struggles. there are times
you look in the mirror and, except for the wrinkles
and sag and missing hair, you can still see the guy
ready to rock downtown, surprise a girl, drink all night.
but don't pull out the old pictures, that really was
another guy. not too long at that mirror, either,
by yourself, in your bathroom. there is no one else,
and so no passion or conflicts or joy. dangerous ground, this
longing come by unexpectedly. age is one thing, look around,
it's everywhere this decline of light but this is the opposite,
isn't it, this true image, this reflection you can't make sense of
for it's always changing, and never for good. too long here
and you'll be nothing which is sometimes what you want,
isn't it? 52 means nothing, you mean nothing.
you mean this nothing to no one, not even as one nothing
might comfort another, your pleas for senselessness
echo and disappear. instead you get numb, don't you,
when what you want is to disappear within another,
at least, if not disappear into the clouds over the water
near the trees. disappear anywhere, then, anywhere
but into yourself. you don't know cold, you don't know green,
yet you can move as though there were a destination,
warm soft arms around you, haunted by a body's fragrance,
numbed by the wait for the next joy, the next conflict,
numbed when you get there too. you don't have a hard time
convincing yourself it's all temporary, do you, except when
in dim light dreams of flesh turn any way you want them to
and you usually want them to turn to embraces,
and you still won't disappear, will you, you'll keep
your eyes open against her skin and detail will disappear
all the frustration and fear and bits of nothingness
taken away by an impulsive lick of a shoulder
thought circling tomorrow's specifics
mirrors at 52 a woman can
give you the world see?
it's over there.


I'm the grey smudge band
between green treetops
and sky, something doomed
to always be, something
of my own making, sky-drunk,
life-bloomed. A hand reaches
up past life, into nothingness,
tells me Enjoy. Some
whispers: Unbutton her
here, under my tree, in my air.
Dip your grey tongue in my dirt,
kiss her everywhere I tell you,

make her disappear,
disappear each other.

I'm hearing my voice
it's me speaking now
to myself cultivate
irrigate sun-touch

©2006 by John Eivaz

John Eivaz John Eivaz was born in New York and lives in California, where he works at a winery. He also shares a Web site with PJ Nights called east/west, and the two co-moderate Spit Toon, a poetry forum. His work has appeared here at Slow Trains many times, beginning with its first issue, and including its first online chapbook, Soup Sonnets, co-written with PJ.

  Home Contributors Past Issues Search   Links  Guidelines About Us

Subscribe to the Slow Trains newsletter