Friday, October 06, 2006

Memo to Mel
Interoffice memo to Mel.
Okay, perhaps not interoffice.
More like message from the wild.
More like last will and testament
from the great unknown.
But… I prefer interoffice memo, cause
I take certain comfort in such verbiage.

Now admittedly, when
they hand you this and
say it’s from Jack, it
likely won’t carry much weight,
but when they tell you it was pried from
the clinched hand of my corpse… Well,
you might just give it a bit more import.

So… Mel… Okay.
I guess I didn’t make it,
though at this moment,
I’m still alive.
But I figure,
just barely.

I’m far from home,
hiking the Raven Rock Trail in North Carolina.
It’s been…what?...
Forty five minutes since I left the car park
and you must admit,
that’s an awful long time to be
lost in this vast wilderness.
Am I lost?
Yes. Well… No.
Perhaps. Who knows?
I mean, listen:
There’s this defined path but
what does that mean?
Nothing. Nada.
Easily manipulated by the local flora, fauna
and oh so deviant wildlife.

Just think about it.
This entire park could collapse
in a massive sink hole at any moment.
Trees fall.
Mold flourishes.
Somewhere there deep in the forest shadows,
an animal seething in rabid fury
is seeking me out.

I wasn’t always like this.
There was a time in my youth
when I relished the experience of nature.
I embraced it.
How naïve I was.

At this point, I imagine you rolling your eyes.
Dismissing my reaction as somewhat,
somehow … phobic.
But you ain’t here.
No. As you read this,
you’re likely amidst friends
in some late-night venue
watching a flatulent poet
over-exaggerate some aspect of
his poached pathetic existence.
But that ain’t me.
The real me is lost out at Raven Rock.

And as I follow the trail’s gradual descent,
there is a certain mental descent as well.
With each progressive step
into this forest’s depths,
I penetrate labia and nuzzle the womb.
This Mother Earth is fell feculent.
Here in her dark dampness
there is delirious decadence.
The air… heavy and oppressive,
and I find myself dwelling on death.
My death.

And it grows darker.
So much darker, though
I know full well that dusk,
both literal and metaphorical,
is still a full hour away.

I am not meant to die here.
To collapse, crumble and molder,
producing a choice mushroom
just behind my compost ear.

Deep in this forest, I hear things.
And though I cannot see them,
know that they envelope me.
Yes, at this moment,
I am being consumed.
Parasitic entities penetrate my flesh
and I am powerless to stop them.

Listen Mel. Listen.
Why must nature
be so evil?
I am becoming unhinged
and it is your precious wild
which skewers my sanity.
Just where does tree bark end and skin begin?
There! For God’s sake, look!
There in a tree… what horror.
Someone has carved
a heart!
There next to it, letters!
Little crosses
between the initials.

What does this mean?
What terrible events transpired here?
Were hearts exchanged one for the other?
Beneath this tree’s dark ominous boughs,
were they ripped from tender chests,
there to be swallowed, sap and all,
by another’s ravenous desire?

This is madness!
Such sticky, sticky madness!
Who in their right mind would
do that to a tree?
Deviant souls.
Souls consumed by nature.
By their sick embrace of nature.

And so, I evoke your name.
Patron Saint of non-concrete
and asphalt not.
Save me.
Save what’s left of this mosquito, chigger
and tick drained soul!
I beseech you in the name of
all things Daniel Boone.
Get me away from the sanguinary sap
of this sick twisted tree!

But no.
You’d still rather sit there and listen to
some fat ham read pseudo-psychotic poetry.

So… I guess I’m on my own.
I turn.
I run (well, okay…
I don’t run but I walk really, really fast).
And not more than twenty yards away,
I hear something come up behind me.
Something Dionysian.
Something Bacchanalian.
Indeed, a dark green man
whispers over my shoulder
with a voice not unlike that of a wasp.
There in my ear,
the loud throb of a crazed hornet.
And so I move faster and faster.
And though the buzz at my collar
suddenly dissipates,
I do not slow my pace.

There just ahead,
I see a sign
and this beacon or respite reads
Who would have thought such a word
could bring my current level of joy?
I may just pee my pants.
And yet still I do not slow.

There! Look!
It’s my car.
My car sitting on
wonderful, lovely, cuddly gravel.
(I love gravel.
Have I ever told you how much I love gravel?
Not as much as asphalt and concrete,
but it will do in a pinch.)

And there I touch pristine chrome,
open the door and
slide through its portal to collapse
on a fine leather upholstery.
Equally, my now becalmed hands
wrap around a bound leather steering wheel.
Yes. Leather.
Leather from animals.
Dead animals.
Man’s supreme ascendance over all things animal.
All things natural.
Our dodo dominion deftly delivered
by way of Detroit.

Face it Mel.
This is the way things are.
Lo, but I turn that engine over
and the essence of
a billion ancient creatures
with each catastrophic pulse
of a synchronized
spark plug.

Shifting into drive,
I hurtle down the road
and there pass to asphalt.

Faster and faster I travel.
Tiny insects,
a splatter spectacular,
there across my
lethal wind-shield,
and I?

I smile a mighty grin.

Oh, and yea.
Mel baby.

That office memo?
Tear it up.

I am right
where I was
always meant to be.

©06 Jack Hubbell


'Bras' Blog said...

great piece jack, your poems always read well, whether I'm reading them, or I'm there with you listening~~


Anonymous said...

I think it might be time to let you in on the secret to my bravery. It's my other friend named Jack. Yukon Jack, that is, fine Canadian Whiskey, turns the ghosts back into trees.

I'm sorry for your discomfort, but you got a great piece from it. And I do believe you're the only person to ever mention me in a poem. Am I famous now?