Here's a (1) poem in honor of the two (2) year anniversary of this blog, which was three (3) days ago. I submitted this for a new literary journal that was set to debut in Helena last month, but it doesn't look now as though newspaperman Larry Kline will be able to get that started up (Helena is a town made for literature, but perhaps not one made for writers). I haven't the slightest idea if this piece is any good or not (I suspect not), but I'd be lying if I said it didn't exist.
In the break room one year, we made a pact to follow our dreams.
We (John Henry, Shiloh, Frank and I) cashed in our vacation days and split, sending each other missives from the road.
Frank went on tour with The Basement Screams, grew his hair out and got really good at coiling guitar cables. He cried at one of the concerts, at the moment when the vibrations moved upward from his chest.
Shiloh we didn’t hear from for a while, but when he finished his novel from a cabin tucked between two snowy mountains, we read it. It was very good.
I went to San Francisco and met all sorts of interesting men, unlike any I had ever known, more like centaurs. I worried what the guys would think about my idle pleasures, but idly they replied, whatever floats your boat.
Those were the great days, when it seemed like we could live our lives like break room fantasies, and one day let them dissipate and find ourselves back sorting mail, with conspiratorial smiles.
But when we learned that John Henry had done unspeakable things to a young man in Singapore City, we knew we had made an awful mistake.
When we made our pact, we had believed our dreams separate but whole, like different paths to the same grail. We didn’t know you can’t just set a person like John Henry adrift in the world, and expect him to still behave like one of the guys.
We should have been there for him, and for the other one. Now they’re both lost to us over there, somewhere.
In the break rooms of the future, we will speak with caution and resign ourselves to unhappiness, because at least it will be our own.
Note: I keep changing the name of the band in the third line (previously it was The Flaming Wrecks). If you can think of something better, I'd like to hear it.