Peddling into Hurricanes

This is not [just] about childhood.

Peddling into Hurricanes
JCD Kerwin

At twelve,
you biked faster than
wind storms;
made twisters
turn up in your wake

you turned blacktop
into neverlands and
neverwases just because
you made believe
it was far from here

Now,
you’re made to think
you’re a fool ‘cos you
only want
to feel your heart
beat in your throat
again;
maybe feel the stars
again.

because you went to Jupiter,
once.
don’t ever let them tell you
it isn’t true;
that it was a game;
that it was all just
play, pretend…

I want to feel
that wind
again,
and scare them all
when i laugh
at hurricanes.

people should
run from
super storms, but i
want to make history
in rain clouds.

i want to hold my hands
high above handlebars
again;
make the wind
jealous of my might
again;
and hear the whole world
move.

Maybe i can believe,
(once again)
that having all these dreams
is still worth peddling
into hurricanes.

(January, 2014)

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The Metal Man

The Metal Man by Khao Pete (deviantArt)

The Metal Man
JCD Kerwin

The metal man walked sideways, as if he had a perpetual limp, but there was nothing inhibited about his movements; his right leg was simply longer than its counterpart.

He came from outer space, they say. Long ago he landed in the corn and trampled his way to the tavern. He nodded as if to say “hello.” The townspeople blinked, but they never cast him out.

He would stand at the edge of town, his great metal arms lifted high to the heavens, and wait for the stars. Sometimes he would moan; a small rumbling in the back of his metal throat. They say he was calling home. No one ever replied; no distant travelers, no metal men in metal spaceships, no one. He was lost.

That is what they say.

The townspeople were not unkind, but they would walk on the other side of the street when the metal man was near. He was…alien. His only friends were the birds that perched atop his hard shoulders when he waited in the night. When the weather was bad, he would stay in the hay barn and listen to the horses whinnying. He would watch their breaths dance in the cold.

Over time, the metal man watched the town change. He would walk the road and notice familiar faces were gone, replaced by new ones. Time moved slowly, like him, and all the while he stretched his arms to the sky.

The metal man realized he would never return home. So he walked where he had landed—a cornfield once, but now reclaimed by a deep wood—and reached his metal arms to the stars. He waited. And when it began to rain he did not move to the hay barn; instead, he stood and listened as the drops echoed off his body.

He thought of the town that had changed; the townspeople who were kind but did not care; his home that he would never see. He stared all night at the stars and listened as rain beat against him and the world.

When they found the metal man he was rusted, suspended; a resting place for the birds of the forest. To this day he remains in the deep wood. His arms are still raised to the heavens; his eyes fixated on the stars.

They say he is calling home.

(September, 2013)

Mister Beauregard

Mister Beauregard
JCD Kerwin

Mister Beauregard has no heart. He keeps an antique, silver watch just above his breast coat pocket, just above his heart, so that the tick-tick-tocking mimics the thump-thump-bumping of a normal man’s heart.

He drives a Chevelle‘69, just to pass the time, as he listens to the tick-tick just above his breast bone, just across his chest, in his powder-blue, Chevy ’69. It’s leftover from the times he drove ‘till sunrise on the strip; ‘till he drove all night chasing phantoms in his vision while he looked at Mars. Now he sees shadows when he stares; he sees clouds when he knows it should be Heaven in the stars.

His eyes are made of glass, they say, because to buy his poor wife’s ashes he had to give his real ones both away. Her ashes sit near the magazines he never reads, and by the urn that keeps the fattest tabby you’d have ever seen. Its name was Max and it chased cedar waxwings in the yard.

He smokes cigars when he drives so far, and the smoke curls like clouds along the Sunset Boulevard. He dreams he’s somewhere that’s neverwhere and notquitehere because he can’t quite see or hear the ticking of reality the rest of us all breathe and fear. He’s someone else who isn’t here; someone who is nevermore…the ghost of Mister Beauregard.

(March, 2012…although I could’ve sworn it was older.)

Barefoot Wednesday Poetry

Never Ever Forever
JCD Kerwin

I’ll run barefoot
through the jungles
and in between
the catacombs lost to places
Man will never go again.

I’ll smile like the natives
painted blue and red—
the colors of the blood
dripping from my feet.
But I won’t give a damn,
and I’ll just laugh harder
when my shins begin to crack.

Because I won’t pretend
I’m an iron man
made of adamantium,
or a super man worth damn.

Surrounded by shadows and trees,
lost species and relic dreams,
it’s okay to just be me.

I’d rather feel the rush
of wind against my skin,
than against wings I don’t deserve.

I’d rather run around the world
for a thousand years,
than grow feathers from my back
just to fall

like all the times before.

(November, 2011)

Plastic Shields and Wooden Swords

On the Burning Away
JCD Kerwin

A siren screams and
radiates back the screen
of my black and white, black static
cellophane, underwater,
claustrophobic world.
I never see,
never see,
I never ever see kaleidoscope colors,
never a light-bright cornucopia of
my ten-year-old, happy-go-lucky dreams.
Those stupid fucking reveries
blew up in brimstone fire when
I learned there’s no such thing as Faraway
and you can’t sew stars into your pockets.

[The fruit of a thousand apple trees would
taste better if the snake would nicely mention
the seeds are made of cyanide.
Instead my eyes go wide
as I lean back and hack
for air while I wait to breathe again.]

It all fades together in the same old
coffee-drenched, psychotic robotic days.
The air smells like burning plastic and
we’re all electric blinking lights trying so damn hard
to make math problems into Green jobs because
no one gives a shit about paper anymore.

Libraries are just graveyards for all the little children’s dreams.

When I grow up I’ll keep a junkyard
so I can save out-of-date non-collectibles
that everyone’s forgotten and
everyone thinks are just myths
and legends of a time that never was.
(I’ll keep books in my basement and
become a relic just like them.)

I’ll wrap myself in armor
and scream stories at computer screens
and make-believe
the people of the world can hear me when I say
I’m saving them…
I’m saving them…
I just want to save you.

Oct., 2012