Whit Griffin

Housatonic Rag

Chalk it up to the gods or brain chemistry,
the lines are slow to form. That the Muse
still whispers at all is a miracle. I’ve come
through to the clear side of my addiction, &
am not obliged to share any wisdom gleaned.
The intention is not
to be obscure, but I’m unapologetic.
A life, a mind, shaped by the books
available at the time. Lists of hawks,
herbs, and long-deceased heroes.
The occasional blip on the sonar.
The almanac forecasts showers & a meteor
event. Not all the baby robins will break
through the blue this season.
Escaped from the heat of the South,
to be consumed by mosquitoes in the
Berkshires’ cool. The mountain air works
wonders for my wet dreams.
Reuniting tonight with
a former lover, to hear Neilson’s Helios
overture. To evoke the glory of sunrise, at dusk.
Just up the road from Arrowhead, Melville’s
haunt. That the same spirit would take
possession of me. To be given purpose &
light. A gazebo in a shantytown. Far out
from the peloton, neither a scout nor a
deserter. Unencumbered by allegiance. Maybe
we can hideaway in the belly of a whale & escape
the unnecessary despotism which plagues the
lower elevations.
The second Gilded Age now gelded,
we’ve had to put into practice what we’ve
preached for so long. Champagne tastes
on Prosecco budgets.
A new departure, a wilder tangent. Free
from the cravings which used to consume
me, I have room for the new vices of the age,
and have embraced the first person, though
my narrative is nonlinear.
I belong in a mountain hideaway with
an unobstructed view of water. Home
to fish free from mercury. In woods no
longer harvested for fleets.

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