Archive for January, 2012

Almost Blue

Posted in My Poems on January 17, 2012 by paulscotaugust

Almost Blue

My car finds it way down to the parking lot
at Bradford Beach. I turn off the engine
and stare out at Lake Michigan as waves break
hard over square white rocks, the spray
landing on my windshield. The local college
station plays the full 7 minutes of Chet Baker
doing a cover version of Elvis Costello,
his trumpet moaning like a dying animal.
I sit and I listen. What else should I do?
I can’t get out of my car and slowly spin you
around the parking lot like I did once before.
I won’t walk down the empty beach anymore
and build ad-hoc sculptures from driftwood,
prehistoric-looking skeletons left to surprise
the morning joggers and dog walkers. Seems
pointless now. So I sit back and I listen, his horn
just killing it, as dark waves break over me
like liquefied sadness splashing onto the glass,
and I’m almost blue, almost there in that deep
place where the music is all that remains,
and the wiper blades clear you away, almost.

Paul Scot August

(Originally Published in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact – Issue V, Vol III, January 2012)

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How to Influence Your Dreams

Posted in My Poems on January 17, 2012 by paulscotaugust

How to Influence Your Dreams

Before bed, take a shower with the same brand
of shampoo she used, the same fruit-smelling
soap. Put on the t-shirt she stole from your drawer
and used to sleep in, then left behind when she moved
away. Go to your closet and find the blue shoebox
on the upper shelf, take it down. Put on the CD
of songs she gave you. Sit on the edge of your bed,
the box on your lap. Wait until the third song ends.
Now, reach down and open the lid. Grab a random
letter, note or card. Read it over several times until
the words begin to sing to you, and you can hear
her voice again. Take out the envelope of photos,
try to recall every detail of every situation pictured
in them. Now, when you are almost back there, stop.
Put the photos and letters back in the box. Replace
the lid carefully and put it back on the shelf. Close
the closet door. Turn off the music. Set the alarm
clock. Turn off the light, and crawl into bed. Pray.

Paul Scot August

(Originally published in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact – Issue V, Vol III, January 2012)

On Water Heavy Nights

Posted in My Poems on January 17, 2012 by paulscotaugust

On Water Heavy Nights

Another night dreaming of the sea,
bodies of unidentified, rough water.
The Gulf of Mexico near Clearwater
where I swam with my grandparents,
schools of unseen fish brushing against
my teen-age legs, the theme from Jaws
thumping in my brain. Or the Pacific Ocean
at Venice Beach while in my 20s, swimming
along the tide-pulled pendulum between high
and hungover. Or at Half-Moon Bay in my 30s,
celebrating New Year’s Eve on the beach,
the waves crashing over regretful words
I’d scratched into the sand, hope for renewal.
But more likely Lake Michigan, having never
lived more than a few minutes away from it.
No matter the location, the result’s the same:
Tossed about on the waves, washed up on
a pebbled beach, waking as a castaway.
Then slapping the alarm clock, out of bed
and into the shower, being in complete
control of that water, if nothing else.

Paul Scot August

(Originally published in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact – Issue V, Vol III, January 2012)

Anguish and Wolfenbarger

Posted in Uncategorized on January 15, 2012 by paulscotaugust

Anguish & Wolfenbarger

While she waits on tables at the Dallas City Café,
she glances up through the greasy front windows
at the Anguish & Wolfenbarger Ford Dealership
across and slightly down the street. People in town
just call it The Anguish. The name still makes her
wince. Today is Tuesday, so she takes her coffee
break at 2:15, just like she does every Tuesday,
sits at the table in the front and waits. She’ll see
the Greyhound Bus as it motors down Main Street,
stops at the railroad tracks, the driver looking down
the rails that extend in each direction to the horizon,
becoming arrows he wishes he could grab onto and use
to launch himself into another life that is not this one.
She’ll watch as the bus crosses the tracks and pulls
over at the far end of the auto shop to either catch
or release another passenger. Or more likely, no one
does either, and the driver shuffles inside for a cup
of vending machine coffee and a piss, before leaning
against the brick wall along the alley and having a smoke,
then getting back on the bus. He always leans in the exact
place where her Billy did that day, where the metal plate
on the wall is falling away from the bricks, where he smoked
one Lucky Strike after another until the bus pulled up
and he turned to her, winked, and climbed into the past.

Paul Scot August

(Published January 2012 in Bending Light Into Verse, Volume III)