Dogs 2007

CASTLE GAP DISCIPLE
(2/14/07)


"is that a rock
in your pocket
or are you happy
to see me?"

assholes

he smiled
as he walked past
shaking his head
and not meeting
their eyes

they didn't
understand

he did
have a rock
in his pocket
about 3 pounds worth
that he had been carrying
for almost 30 years
since he had
first found it
as a teenager
on a school
field trip

he had shown it
to his teacher
who had told him
approximately
how old that
it probably
was

he was
amazed

that rock
and it's seashell
impressions
had been around
a lot longer
than his teacher
his school
his town
his state
his country
any country
any human
and most
of the creatures
flying
eating
fucking
walking
crawling
breathing
and generally
making nuisances
of themselves

the place
had even been
under water
when this rock
was formed beneath
a shallow sea
hundreds of feet
above his head
supporting an
aquatic habitat
over these
now arid
surroundings

too much
for his young mind
to hold
and comprehend

from that
moment on
he began
carrying it with him
everywhere
to remind him
of such transcending
permanence

first he
bore it
by hand
then by a bag
that his mother
had made
for him

too purse-like
however

he then settled
on buying pants
3 sizes too big
so that he could
wedge his prize
into a pocket
and still have
enough room
to move
his legs
and keep other
concealed parts
within a range
of comfort

of course
he had to start
wearing thick belts
to keep the whole show
from sliding
to his ankles

his family
endured
knowing that
such a burden
would soon
grow tiresome

but through
graduation
the eccentricity
was more or less
accepted
along with
the expected
accompanying
ridicule

of course
dating
was out
of the question

he finally found
a remote college
where he majored
in geology
(what else
was there?)
and his rock fetish
was less conspicuous
although still not
completely
condoned

years later
even with
an advanced degree
finding employment
with his wonted
wardrobe
was a bit
difficult

he found
a few positions
in the wildernesses
and wastelands
of the world
but eventually
had to return
to civilization
and report
his findings

they would smile
and expect him
to lose the load
and come suitably attired
to conferences
luncheons
and the like
but rather than test
the limiting extents
of their latitudes
he would quit
beforehand
and save everyone
the confrontation

he had
put away
enough money
to take a minor position
in a manufacturing facility
on the outskirts
of a small town
on the plains
and get by
comfortably
on those
meager wages

he was
talked about
but not required
to talk back

his needs
were few
but then why
would anyone
want anything
that would not
last as long
as that enduring link
to the past
and the future?

he understood
much better now
what he had
it would outlast
all of them
and their petty
contrivances
skyscrapers
super colliders
sporting events
super highways
social conventions
pseudo-intellectual philosophies
and all the rest
of their meager
machinations

he had possession
of something
far greater than
they could ever
conceive

he was blessed
to be its
caretaker

maybe someday
on his deathbed
he would hand it
to the next
worthy soul
or
more probably
take it to grave
with him
to witnesses his
death and decay

then hopefully
when returned
to dust
he and the rock
would finally
have some
common
ground