Wednesday, September 21, 2011


based on the movie

Like always, I reached the meadow
through a process of seemingly random
twists and turns. Picked up
its trail past the dead pools
of floating fish and the open pits of sulphur
and acid where the boys fell
through one summer
and burned alive for months.
We hid from the police in empty warehouses.
We slipped past the guard at the electrified gates.
At the meadow, I threw a nut
tied to a piece of white linen
in whatever direction
and went in search of it. In this way,
we finally reached its underbelly.

As we approached the fractured walls
and empty decaying rooms,
the water-stained frescoes
and moss covered rocks next to streams of debris,
I felt like one of the birds
with a name that no one knows anymore
but that sings passionately
in the trees. Or a flower that buds,
but whose petals and colors are lost to recollection
since the gates went up.
I felt like a man in whose throat
the dead want to whine.

I brought the professor and the writer
to the place because
they asked, and because the place has laid
this burden on me. I must show all seekers
that it exists or it will take away what it has given.
And I must give all who ask what it gives me.
Nothing more and nothing less.
They expected monsters
or angels to jump from the walls.
But it never happens that way.
So they called me an idiot and hit me.
The professor with his geiger counter.
The writer with his bored drunken leer.
What could I say? It hides like a scared rabbit
at the drop of a pin. It sighs
like a broken door hinge,
or a mother in the lap
of a deformed child.

I know as much as they do.
But that I found it, they think,
means I know something that will shrivel
their suspicion, or their questions.
But I don't. It has taught me that.
Dare I tell them that it's a book
that's never been written except
for those who want to read it and die?
Some say it fell from the sky.
Or that it's a government experiment
gone wrong. They're lies and stories.
It's a place to drag your corpse
from the grave and enter its doors.
If I was strong I'd stay away and not come back.
But once I learned the way,
once the smell and its secret got in my nerves,
I wanted it like a woman's body
whose creamy thighs and fiery eyes
hack men's knees out from under them.
I'm nuts to lose my life
for an allure that stalks my skin like a lecher
or the thrill of death.

I hear its voice
in my head. But when I turn to see who's there
it's a sign
swinging in the neon
light. Nothing but me
and the woman waiting for the knock
of the police. Her eyes search me like I'm a fool.
She holds me like a child.
She cries when I'm not here.
The cops'll come anytime.
Like a rat caught in a sewer maze
I got no hope or escape. Nowhere
to run to that they don't have mapped.
They'll look at the rap sheet
and throw away the key.
Repeat offender. Three-time loser.
Threat to the general welfare
of the whole. Degenerate purveyor
of unholy and unhealthy pleasures.

Five years
in the LAG will break
me this time.
Maybe the Psy police let me through
on purpose this time. To watch me die
in the LAG longing for the memory.
Maybe I'll lose my mind, go online and tell everyone
what a fool I was,
that it's just a farce.
I can't tell what drives me to it.
Desire to know. To possess. To coddle
in my arms like my daughter or wife.
It grows inside me like a tumor.
This love whose tenderness
will crush me with the weight
of the others' hate. I found it once.
I can go back anytime I want.
But not for many years.
And maybe only after I die
from not seeing it again.

(c) copyright 2011 Charles David Miller. All rights reserved.

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