The lilacs already out now, like miniature pines
of Istanbul fragrance... I think Maximus
would have had a word for them – his
constancy of apperception finding the parallel
lines. For me, only a memory.
Lilac Lanes (St. Louis Park, near Minneapolis).
A shopping center. Where I took my first
guitar lessons (the highway nestled in those flowery
passages). The teacher not much older than me
(but wiser). Emerson to my Whitman (spontaneous
rambunction is the key). Young Dylan surfaces
from the Iron Range, a Tin Pan melody
of golden haze. Works the trouble, trebles
the pain into perfect synchronyms (those
offhand chords). And the world is fizz.
It works. The music magnifies, with bubbles.
And then somehow the calliope ran off
the circus rails. The old harmonium
sounds flat. Henry Hobo-bum
is left holding his kit-bag (cough, cough).
Only a memory. If every lilac bloom
could last forever... well, they wouldn't.
Be lilacs. And David's Shulamith, Solomon's
Sheba... every rose repaints their plangent,
transient gloom. A hobo spring. Of shades.
Oasis for stragglers, nomads. You
and I, old friend, tzigane. By the willows
of Babylon. Arose, shalom, shalom. Out of Sheol.