David Koehn Delta 6: At The Corner Of Byron Highway & Camino Diablo There Is A Stoplight

My mind was a hidden camera before there were hidden cameras.

I stitch you into me, the homemade quilt only understands

Scraps of scrap. I have wanted to write about the Gainesville murders

For some time now. In the ‘90s a serial killer stalked the campus.

We were advised to live our lives as normally as possible, to pretend.

Ignore the alligator in your swimming pool.

Remove the “r” from a friend and you get a fiend.

The pinch in the cheeks when teeth clamp down on gum wrapper --

The way nostrils pinch, I am what happens

At the red light of a crossroads when no cars approach from the left,

No cars come from the right. The roads, empty as far as you can see:

The staggering telephone poles carrying callers away faster

Then you can imagine their stories. Train tracks measuring the transect

Of the fields: an arbitrary column of paper cut out and pasted across the valley;

And off at the edge between Mt Diablo and where you sit, a ranch with most of its Arabians

Tucked away in their stalls under their blankets and in their blinders.

What happens on craigslist when you want to sell your liver.

A Contra Costa County Marine Patrol Sheriff’s boat sank today.

What happens when a women you thought attractive becomes a man,

Who you still think of as a beautiful woman. You remember the one time

He hugged you after you bought her On Violence by Hannah Arendt,

His breasts pressed up against you, fondly, and you thought:

“Action without a name, a who attached to it, is meaningless.”

Mosquitoes in Walnut Creek tested positive for West Nile Virus.

This exposition, architecturally speaking, frames space

For decompression of assumptions written between the ballpoint

Pen labeled Palmer House and the idea of measurement, meters,

Centimeter, and hectares. What are the properties that give you to me?

You own what you own. I am not trying to explain anything.

I am what happens before the artist covers the canvas in paint,

A background to the charcoal pedestal under the Marengo shaded pot

Growing the fruit tree with the colored-paper tangerines, cut out,

And pasted on the brushed branches.

My partner calls the house a cave. Insists on keeping all the blinds closed.

There are horror stories about what happens when someone runs a red light.

There are no stories about sitting at the red light when no one is around until it changes.

She complains that the dog barks whenever she eats. Feeds it her dinner.

Cooking dinner requires her recipe for yours. Cleans up the dish you haven’t used yet.

You snore, you fart, you don’t pay the cleaning lady enough.

You need a shave, that shirt is passé, and you don’t spend enough time

With your kid because you are always at work.

Murderabilia is not therapy. The dog will not stop barking.

You can touch the floor of every body of water. There is patio music, and a gunmetal bowl

Full of multi-colored marbles, and a teal pool float, and the alligator.

The plastic lime green flyswatter looks a bit like a bug:

Acrylic and house paint on canvas. This is an active homicide investigation.

Today, my son and I were walking around the block, and he wanted to talk

About a story he had “heard” (read: saw on YouTube) about an old briefcase

Found in the woods years after thrown there. He wanted

To know if I had ever heard of such a thing. Wondered if throwing something

Like that could ever not be found. The improbability that the person

Would not have been missed, that an evil-doer had succeeded,

At least for as long as that briefcase was hidden. He could not recall

Where this had occurred, what state, or who had told this story.

But here we are walking along the edge of the development

Out along the berm, engineered floodplain just beyond the rise.

Somehow I had failed him, I could not shield him from the knowledge

That someone could dismember a body, place it in a briefcase, and hide

It in the woods. I wanted to tell him no evil stays hidden forever,

I wanted to tell him that the truth always comes to light. Wanted to playback

All the Catholic school aphorisms I was programmed to say

At times like these. But these things would all be lies. Does anyone play

Baseball anymore? I remember when I was my son’s age how I

Worshipped Ben Ogilvy, Paul Molitor, Thurman Thomas and Robin Yount.

Oh, how I wanted to be Robin Yount. I remembered learning the magic

Of Strunk and White’s Element’s of Style and the sudden structural sanctity

Of the colon: a thing, a different thing clarified, and another

Thing of sufficient detail to place a finer grained understanding

Of the original in the mind of the reader. “Use a colon after an independent

Clause to introduce a list of particulars, an appositive, an amplification,

Or an illustrative quotation.” Friend, do not stick that colon

After a verb. Two AA batteries power the remote control.

In everything there is a school of fish: horsefly season throughout the house,

Filing an extension for your taxes, the queen of wands. We lived down a dirt road

In a cinder block three bedroom. As struggling graduate school students

That was all we could afford. The sandy road, the occasional rattlesnake,

The tropical palms, the ever-wet air. Wendy wanted to fuck

But I told her “no.” She was pretty offended. Bay just strolled

Into my office with his Batman ears over his Ninja mask.

In my room, drunk or stoned, my mind

Took flight from my body, felt forced out. Listen, Danny Rolling’s heavy feet

In the sand and pine needles. He walks the windows of the house, thinking about who

Is behind the blinds. Is there one person? Three? Man? Woman?

What if we had been women: sisal, manila, cotton?

I see him as if I was a crow on a nearby wire.

He was not cautious, he was interested, thoughtful like a taxi driver

Looking up side streets thinking about the fastest route from here to midtown.

There is no way to keep the presidency out of this poem. Or anything.

Look out the nearest window. The kind of things always go away.

My partner did say something about taking a trip with her dad.

Their relationship

Is better than ever. She loves spending time with him now.


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