Steve Dalachinsky

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Blues for Lowell

it is late august.from aboard the lowell-bound  train the sky is
cowboy and  quiet.2 old timers discuss the city's main diner. haircuts
and clean  shaves.."god bless ya.god bless ya" one says to the other
as an old factory chimneys smoke into the distance portending things
to come.
the privilege of riding the commuter train from north station to lowell
is warming.a thin line between two points and nowhere to go after that.
      coughing consumptively one old fella says..."you're irish god damn're irish." yellow wild flowers and  wood frame houses follow
us."you look nice." the other says in an old drunkard's volce.the green
outside fornicates with the sun.
     we rush only to wait.then rush again.flnally to stop.

     a new community has sprung up in wedgemere near the white horse
commons.she stares with excited melancholy from the train window.thru
the thick  trees,into the cowboy sky.
     "did ya polish  yer shoes?"one old fella says..."nice.lowell,is
that  where yer from?"..winchester station looks rich and well-polished.
the wind is a happy moment of understatement and the geese by the pond
by the cemetery are still and round-headed like smoothly polished stones.

Painting of goose by Gene McCormick                                 in a fall chill
                                 8 geese.heads tucked in chests
                                 motionless on a log

     the dead  are surrounded by water.the living are windows baring
witness.she comforts the baby poplar with her heart and i feel the
pull of reeds along the tracks.bendlng against our destination.
     there is the will of the wind and the whisper of the old station's
wood... he must  have seeri this too."she whlspers,speaking of kerouac.the
youth in front of us.done combing his hair.gets off the train here.
across from me another young man sleeps in heavy waves of breathlng."oh
the leaves are changing."she we move closer to lowell...already
changing-the forest thru the trees moving  breathing   dying...a
quartet of dark-skinned hispanics have been chattering from beginning
to end,'SI" is all i comprehend.the 2 old timers have either fallen
asleep or fallen into silence.pine tree and willow waltz into their
whiskeyed  mouths...suddenly,"we're gettin  closer now." the quieter
one says to a stranger passing in the aisle.."see ya pal."only trees
to answer.

     in·a bleak and withered field a weathered sign of black letters
on a red background reads JACK'S.......

      entering lowell the sky is cowboy and quiet.a host of hobo
boxcars,cushioned by time,stand to greet us.more boxcars and clouds
than we could possibly count...SOUTHERN PACIFlC.NORTHERN PACIFIC, CANADIAN
PACIFIC...on and on and on.
     "nice meetin  ya harry.take care of yourself.."the short,dry.grey
old man says to the  taller,leaner one.He carries a fresh bouquet and
wears a pink hospital band around his wrist.
     as we leave the  traln.a young hippy enters it and a factory of
ghosts releases us from today.
              - HOODS and only HOODS­
     in the lowell station a sign reads,

               ART IS THE HANDMAID OF HUMAN GOOD...yes.i think
as i walk out into the resurrected sunlight.

steve dalachinsky was born in 1946, Brooklyn, New York right after the last big war and has managed to survive lots of little wars. His work has appeared extensively in journals on & off line including; Big Bridge, Milk, Tribes, Unlikely Stories, Ratapallax, Evergreen Review, Long Shot, Alpha Beat Soup, Xtant, Blue Beat Jacket, The Brooklyn Review. His latest cds are collaborations with saxophonist Dave Liebman, bassist Joelle Leandre and an experimental French rock Group the Snobs.