To the person who left their four-leaf clover in a book of Wordsworth I found in the thrift store,
First of all, thank you.
You have reminded me that today I am very lucky
To be able to breath
In and out
For to be alive is such a wonderful mystery
And so much a journey
I wonder if it was your intention to have the clover found
By me, a stranger
On page 254,
In the section of miscellaneous sonnets
Next to a poem to the poet John Dyer
“The Bard of the Fleece”
Or if you placed it there randomly
And let go of the book absent-mindedly.
I wonder who you were and where you were from
And how came you upon this noble treasure.
Was it during a hike up in the Appalachia?
Or a gift from a sweetheart in the city?
Currently the clover appears old
And the book appears much older.
Come to think of it
I can’t quite remember how long it is I who has owned it
Or where exactly I first acquired it
Without opening it to this very page until now.
I’m uncertain if I’ve ever even read from this volume
Or if I just carried it around for the aesthetic pleasure
Its leather-bound form placed upon my bookshelf.
You see, it was Thoreau, and then Whitman as well
Who just now made me think recently of retracing my own studies
To this master wordsmith that is Wordsworth
Their words and experiences so dictated by the romance of his language
Also his playful tongue in cheek
And this pleasant synchronicity
Only adds to my current enlightened state of mind
Transcendental and flowy
Like a breeze through tall grass
And summer dandelions
I thought I must write a poem immediately
And try to reach out to you somehow
And yet where are you now?
Or where have you been?
Are you old and withered like the clover
Worn and water-stained like these paginated musings
Or have you gone underground
To join Wordsworth in his romanticized heaven?
Oh, to be alive in this great fantasy
I can count the times I’ve found a four leaf clover
On a single hand
Having not searched for them outright
Since a young boy
But this is the first time I’ve found
Such a thing
In a book of poetry
And I can’t even begin to express how lucky
This must be
A joyful reminder from serendipity
It is a gift to be alive and awake in this dream!
Today I am all poetry.
Some days, not so much.
But today everything I do is poetry.
Everything I feel is poetry.
Everything I write is poetry.
Today I am all poetry.
And these are the kinds of days I look forward too.
The morning starts with pleasant dreams
And a humble dance with bedside literature.
When I finally venture out, the warm sun is there to greet me.
Blue skies and playful clouds
Turning from one recognizable shape into the next
The birds chatter and without anything better to do
I hike in a park and climb a mountain
The city rolls away from me
Along with its depression
Instead there is only the earth and me
And today I am all poetry
These are the days I look forward to.
portrait by M.E Franasiak
photo by Alana Franasiak
This week I drove to Boston in order to catch up with old friends, swim with Thoreau in his pond, and grab this artwork that was painted of me several years ago. The portrait attempts to capture the essence of the artist in his birth stages. Freshly returned from his first trip to Spain the muse is still fresh in his heart and the vision still pure on his mind. He sits inside the Dream Oven (only a few months old), holding a pencil to paper writing the first several chapters of erotica that will become his first novel, in front of a stack of TVs still simple in their construction as he is still practicing how to balance these boxes of electricity. The idea of dream exhibition is still something he is fleshing out, and most people he tells about it think he is out of his mind. They haven’t seen it for themselves yet. He has only just learned how to make a dream catcher and his other dream labors are still very early in their craft. His language is rough around the edges and he has only smoked mugwort seriously once.
But in this image he is on the rise as a living poet. He is about to enter one of the best years of his life full of deep friendships, travels, and even the strongest love relationship. For the first time in his life he feels that he is the creator of his own universe and the people around him truly are the great intellectuals he thought only existed in books.
This is a portrait of the dawn of dream punk. It is the beginning of a surreal life. Everything that follows is the borderline historic ride leading us up to now. And boy, has it been fun!
from the forthcoming Dream Dialectic, The Little Death
The water beckons a challenge to live one’s life. Its cold runs to new depth creating icy patches upon my toes as they dip further into the darkness gesturing towards a sandy bottom covered in the black of night. Thoreau still occupies this space. His poetry flows with the ripples of wind on water. Waves eternal. Words everywhere and everything. Rise up young youth. Your summer swim spot is a place for transcendence. Bathe here and feel your soul purified.
I dream I am alone as I swim across from shore to shore. Each stroke pushing me further out into the open and farther from my friends talking deeply barely noticing my absence. Fear creeps up my neck into my conscious mind as I realize how far I have gone and how far I still have yet to go. Treading water I take a long look around me. Lifeguards watching children splash starbursts into the sky. Families camping underneath the friendly shade of pines. Lovers groping bodies enchanted by the reflection of their kiss in the cool pool. Summer wanderers. Avid vacationers. Dream makers.
My body drags underneath a passing wave. Around me the sun spirals into bands of light broken by the dark sheen of the lake top over my head. Submerged breath is cut short and the mind grows cold. Panic fear absolved. The birds no longer chirp where the body lays. Silence falls except for the beating of my own heart at the back of my eardrum. And the mind turns over a new chord. A oneness with both body and soul. The water speaks to me:
Drink deep from the river of your own being and rise up anew. Become the person you tempted yourself to be. All the strength in the world is yours. It only needs a controlled breath and from there the vision becomes clearer.
I resurface and notice not one but two swimmers gradually make their way past me. Their intersection and crossover like two planes in the sky. Trails of motion laying out across the lake as they drift forward in time.
And all around them even greater swimmers taking a stroll through the lake deep. Merry pranksters on afternoon jaunts cooling off from the summer sun. Paths each unique in rhythm. Beaten roads as flexible as the liquid that they were born in. A great network of wonderers lucidly living lakeside.
I take a breath sucking in the warm sun’s heat. The fear of drowning subsiding. The body making the right motion of fingertips cupped into paddles pushing water across the side and out underneath the feet kicking brilliantly like something alive all inside. The mind masters the body and the body masters the earth.
On the opposing shore there is a moment of triumph. Thoreau stands there admiring another walker of the way. His statuette hand outstretched in an expression of open embrace. He takes note of all the fellow lovers of nature who take day trips to his homeland. Natives of Concord and Boston artists and writers lifers and dreamers all drinking deep and breathing big. His smile is in the peace of the land. No one tripping over his grave anytime soon. As his body is now a vast valley of life.