TURNING NORTHEAST

two blocks from my apartment, on the way
toward downtown
the Amoskeag Dam impeded the Merrimack
with a broad placidity I associated
with the upper Susquehanna
below it the roaring wildness of hydroelectric generation
or the snow-melt Yakima and its tributaries
why I didn’t just dump half my stuff way back
and start over before trekking through the marketplace
to rediscover how outrageously expensive all these goods
I need at hand can be? at last, though, my belongings
began falling into place where old mills extended
an eerie sense all too similar
to what I had created in one novel
to say nothing of the French-Canadian hilltop
on the west side of the river, neatly occupied
by descendants of Kee-beck, and an air of Kerouac
oh, how I’ve come through calculator-town
foundry-town, shoemaking-town, college-town
fruit-packing-town, sawmill-town, meatpacking-town
car-assembly-line-town, blast-furnace-town
summer-resort-town, and spice-grinding-town
on the harbor
to this ghost of a textile-town on the river where
the warehouses of my broken ambition overflow
once more, I arrived without a lover or children
for now, though
this life in a sleeping bag and cardboard boxes
fatigues and I long to get back to Owings Mills to pick up
the rest of my furniture and files so I can really move in
with essentials that include a toaster-oven and
the little red light on my answering machine,
items I’ve come to miss
but having a little cash in my pocket once more
feels wonderfully strange
and having seven book-length works
drafted and revised allows me to show something
more than a concept in my head or scattered notes
the arduous, tricky road to publication can take ages
usually eighteen months once a house accepts a work
and the contract’s signed, according
to the New York Times Book Review a few months back
In the meantime, my savings have gone
(the miracle is that they lasted as long as they did)
and it’s time to get back on my feet, financially

To continue, click here.
Copyright 2015

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