Last Tuesday, Carrie, Carlos, and I flew out to do a show at UC Santa Cruz, and return flights to Boston got canceled because of snow, so Carlos and I were in Santa Cruz until last Friday night. Carrie went to L.A. to celebrate her birthday.
Meanwhile, I spent my birthday gallavanting around Santa Cruz with Carlos. We had sandwiches with avocados in them, and we went on a hike through the redwoods where we visited the Wishing Tree and the Climbing Tree and a tree that had fallen, and we walked along the wharf and looked down on the shut-down amusement park, and then we went to the Saturn Diner and I had another sandwich with avocado and a soymilkshake. It was a wonderful birthday--perhaps the best birthday that ever ended with sleeping in an airport--but the whole time I really missed the East Coast.
So I wrote my love poem to Boston. It was bound to happen. Here it is, out of my system:
Dear City of Perpetual Hibernation
In Santa Cruz, they eat citrus off of trees and sleep
wherever they fall. They think 40 is cold and grow
up to be sandalwood teapots. We will always be
too fat for Los Angeles. In Denver you could spend
your whole life chewing moss off of one mountain.
________I left a carton of blueberries in the fridge.
Leave just a handful for me.
_________________________New York has a whole
lot of mouth and a great deal on some slightly used
electronics. I’d rather eat stale falafel out by Inman
than give them the satisfaction of their all-night cafés.
I’d rather get jilted and stuck in your hoof-worn paths
at 2 in the morning than pace their 24-hour Lite-Brite.
I filled my flask with the cabinet, Boston, please
__________Nobody understands wind in Georgia.
I couldn’t tell you where they keep the salt in West
Palm Beach and I told you I’m sorry for ever living
in Connecticut, though the shiny junk hanging from
your left ear was made in New Haven. Boston, when
I get home I won’t make you talk about the surgery
you convinced me you were going to need. We can
stain the whole carpet with cheap scotch to clarify
that the old stains were never there. We can get all
hysterical and warm and not admit to a damn thing
in the morning. Your trains won’t budge for the sun
but you made me out of apologies for being tardy.
I’m awful sorry. Your face doesn’t scrunch up at all
when you cry. I never know what to say, so let’s just
get this out over the phone:
______________________You were right. As always.
If I could sprout spikes from my back and turn away
from the rest of the world, I would do it.
of all places, couldn’t get through its head where
my grumpiness came from. That’s it for America.
That’s it for any but your briny ass.
___________________________________So sit down.
Let me share what’s been keeping me busy all week.