Posted on

sandman express

Sandman express

just then, the center of the afternoon
opened like a leaf and we entered it
a great green scream in the middle
of a masked face, i don’t know how
else to describe it but i saw a cluster of shadows
over a hill and down to a meadow, the sounds
of a band playing Steely Dan and
a throng of bodies dancing like pretzels
the man grabbed me by the hand and
helped me to a nearby mine cart, leaving old
Sandman at the gate, we hitched a ride
on a sea of gold fast as those
rickety old wheels could carry us
the world’s full of muddy fingers, he says,
but not everybody’s got the
tools for digging *tosses pick ax to a
farmer on the side of the road and
cracks open a pale ale*
the trick is to keep digging
until there’s nowhere to go
but up

suddenly i looked up and
in pulled a train, the likes of which i’d
never seen, a single cab car like a
giant kaleidoscope, a great yellow and
pink dream, with tinted green wheels
and an engineer wearing an old Yankees cap
and strumming his fingers to “Running on Empty”
looking like a one man band
on his own magical mystery tour
Original artwork by T. Blake

from now on, do yourself a favor and
forget who you’re talking to
and remember who you’re listening to instead
this truth is never yours alone
too many people these days are worried about
making themselves sound profound, but they
lack the imagination to help others
understand their message
like pundits and academics and other
media-worthy personalities
*shakes a single tattooed finger in my face,
purple yin-yang dancing straight to the stars*
they’ll feed your ego and
rot your soul
just south of the old
diagonals, it told me, west
of a buried treasure, and over the
wall of a city of made of skulls, there
was a small desert plain where
the sun never set and
the locals aged their own tequila
and wove dreamcatchers out of hay
it was a muddy winter
and the trains were always late
i was heading west of the city—
i was sure of it—by the gaps
on a map i found in a dream
under a forgotten stagecoach
i grabbed a bite of my donut and
leaned in a little closer ‘cause
it all looked like grassland to me
we have always lived
in a hidden reality, he says, waves
of sunshine billowing through his beard
like a puff on an angel’s wing, we each
exist in our own time, and anybody who tells
you past is past and future is future is
too blind to see we all got one foot
pointing towards a setting sun, this life
was never logical, you only
wanted to make it that way but
living ain’t living unless you’re
walking ass backwards off a cliff
and hoping not to drown—
now that you better not forget, little lady—
that’s courage and
it’s what you make it
i hopped in thinking if anybody knew how to
find this old desert plain—well—this fella was
probably half way there
listen, he says, flipping his record
to the B-side, this train only goes one way
and there’s no stopping unless you’re
counting clouds, we got business to do
and staring at the stars is business, this
here’s “Sandman” *slaps his hand on the dash and
throws the parakeet a cornflake* and
Sandman will take us to a time beyond time
you know where that is? that’s where courage is born

*Read Part II of “Sandman Express.”

Original artwork by T. Blake it was a muddy winter and the trains were always late i was heading west of the city— i was sure of it—by the gaps on a map i found in a dream under a forgotten stagecoach just south of the old diagonals, it told me, west of a buried…