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Notes from open land
by Wendy Lewis

The Commute

This morning I followed the Silestone Majestic Countertop truck all the way down Hiawatha Avenue. The lettering was blue and bluer and the logo utilitarian, but pleasing, somehow. A brash and stupid AM radio show was barking through cheap speakers mounted in the dash of the cab, the driver was on his cell phone, the brake lights flashed too often. Irritating. The light shifted around me and I shook my head to reclaim what I thought was there seconds before but it didn't shake me back down. I was listening to Curt Kirkwood's Snow all the way, enjoying yet another in an apparently routine and varied series of morning hallucinations occurring throughout the summer... this box of limes, is burning cold from all these moonbeams burning down my door, these dirty rhymes are all I wrote, that's not what it seems crawling across your floor...*. Kids were heading off to school on their bicycles, piling up in the stoplight corners with trendy stocking caps pulled down over their hungry ears against another chilly September morning. Their energy pressed hard to the rolled up windows, all the shatterproof glass breaking into invisible shards, making not a sound. I smiled in the sparkling explosion.

The skies were a pale, suicidal, paltry-blue while lugubrious clouds dragged their bodies across in surprisingly exuberant grey, laced in varying shades of bruised purple and bloody pink; the black pavement was hosting tired, ghostly lines pretending to separate lanes which had long ago lost their authority. Hot, bright trains bedecked in competitive ad-canned ideas raced me on the northwest parallel and were gaining at each congested intersection. The woman in the buffed forest green Lexus in the left lane sporting a coiffed, blonde head sat too close to her steering wheel, concentrating too hard for the 40 mph speed limit. ... what a beautiful weapon you've got in your eyes... you hold the flower that never unfolds... I love you, I love you, the rest is a lie... what a beautiful weapon you've got in your eyes...*

I've not been to the river in weeks and weeks and the dogs have completely given up on me. I feel weak, and I don't care, because the underbelly is exposed. I'm doing other things, barely. I'm filled with fear and inspired. I can't stop until I get to those western slopes waiting in my October future, danger fucker seals in the surf, dancing and diving against relentless razor cliffs and then the light went from green to red and blurry oil pastel people smeared my grill for the train ... I feel like lightning for the trees to keep away the cold and rain for your heart...*

The light shifted again. I shook my head again and winced. I was seven minutes from my destination and I would be miraculously on time having left too late again and suddenly what I left stretched out in my bed felt far too far away — that, and the dappled light that fell holy on him through the birds on a wire curtain. This dreamy knife may well kill me in the end but it will be a welcome murderer if it fulfills its delirious and delicious contract. I sold my soul to the devil long ago ... runnin all around, lookin at the things that I seem to see that are fillin me with wonder, and the other night when you were just a flower and I was a snowstorm right inside the bedroom, I became the bee, you became the scarecrow and we had some trouble cause we took the light bulb, tried to turn it on to eliminate the problem, but it took the darkness and it made it doubtful. I looked up in the sun cause I thought I saw a light there ... up in the air... up in the air... *

*Buy Curt Kirkwood's solo offering, Snow

©2006 Mental Contagion • Making Space for Visual Artists & Writers