This is written in response to “Walkaways” by Marcia Aldrich
Hello to twenty-twelve. Hello to inconsistency, the elasticity of the timeline. Hello to a new beat, a new narrator unlatching, unpacking his new suitcase; to heading for twenty-thirteen and waving hello to the afterthought; to every thought. Hello to thinking ahead. Hello to twenty-thirteen.
Hello to brief, uncomfortable pauses between stanzas; a coughing break. Cardboard boxes between cardboard boxes between bookshelves packed into the back of a U-Haul parked between U-Hauls. Hello to uncomfortable unpacking; to pauses. Twenty-thirteen. Hello to changing resources; another coughing break between. Hello to filling a new box, early in the century. Hello to head starts, to thinking ahead; to slower speeds down the road, the careful search of overhead highway signs in unexplored territory.
Hello to digitalia, a text message from hell, moving closer to the speed of light; to holographic sex shows, real to the touch. Hello to telepathic sexting, early in the century and it’s all up from here. Hello to awkward interactions, miles apart, moving only the fingers. Hello to naked mirror snapshots; perfect ass and tits and we’re still just kids. Hello to probing fingers; to poems scribbled onto iPad; to screensavers, auto-savers, lifesavers. Hello to marine rescue; to stores of memory; to newfound apathy. Hello to a new standard of living, the iPad. Hello to lack of pubic hair; the shaved generation, who still want their privates smooth as a baby’s. Hello to rising conflict: Gillette Fusion versus iPad stylus; to the smooth and the handwritten, the handwritten into smooth surface; the shaven stanzas; it is still early in the century – soon they may be gone. Hello to good morning, unpacking into goodnight. Hello to stiff as cardboard, musty like aftershave, rising from the car door; cardboard between cardboard between old seat cushions. Hello to useless language; to exercise; to boxes of notebooks burned as kindling for the first bonfire in the new world; to rethinking; to relocation, Montreal café, sunny-windy morning, new city smelling like an old motel with smoking rooms. Hello to twenty-twelve, twenty-thirteen; to twenty-nothings, old friends – I’ll never figure them out again; they’re hippies and poets; like ashtrays and outstretched elastic, suburbanites; maybe I can stretch them into twenty-thirteen, but after that they’re hopeless. Hello to hopelessness, early in the century; a pause for recollection between stanzas.
Hello to the slingshot; to settling in; to exponential expansion. Hello to fresh faces, distant old ones; to loss. In a sense we are hopeless, you and I; the reader and the hippie-poet; the reader himself; hopeless all because we cannot reach each other; the reader himself especially; who else is he reaching for, the reader? Himself? Twenty-thirteen; closer to the speed of light. Hello to contact; to my fountain and your chasm; to our connections, overflowing pubic manes to hide the swelling, the smell of sweat, lingering aftershave, and latex. Hello to love and freedom in each other; to unlatching the last bra strap on the hologram. Hello to telepathic reincarnation; to sending yourself to me through muddy airwaves without moving a stubby finger; to relocation. Hello to depth of solitude; to longevity of interaction; to elasticity between the two. Hello to moving on; returning to the moment. Hello to the present, your presence. Hello to the real thing. Hello to twenty-twelve.