Issue 4, Autumn 2007


Postcards to Li Po
by Andrew Csank


Night thoughts amidst concrete structures under Mt. Rainier; I've been walking about looking to catch a glimpse of ceiling. It's been hard, my toes all torn up somehow. All coloured up lamp light all over the place. Doors swing too fast and too loud behind as I set out from each interior. It's been quiet, other than that. Dangle a coat from elbows, why not. Lumbering about. Gesturing at surfaces all moonlamped by what-else. And it smells good. All deserted like that. Do I expect you to understand. Do I sit down down and smoke, tug my bangs down to where I can look at them directly, thinking all bottomless clarity in which vast periods of the world being around for awhile begin and end out of nowhere.


She's alone in Olympia now while you're in the San Juan islands. Me, I've been watching the neon lights, every night, walking around downtown, these lit corridors of late urbanity. All of it somehow is the distance between us. We forced the weather to adore your departure the way we popped oxycontin together all night until nothing remained but the season's eventual collapse. How the frost rose into the hangovers, how the gray blanket pulled over what was soon to be your former town -which I now can only consider a tired souvenir- this is how you left my thoughts all ragged in these evenings. When will I next have a chance to fumble through the dark for a condom as you unbutton my jeans?


I was down at the bar sipping too many cocktails all by myself (too many by myself, too many regardless) and they turned on the air-conditioning really suddenly. It made me stare at my waiter’s ass. Was he trying to trick me into more drinks? I shamefully gathered my things to leave. So some friends came over to my table, see me off, well... say goodbye. Naturally we just ordered another round. I couldn't tell anything anymore. Which of my friends had I intended to sleep with a few months ago? And how many of them received my affections simply because we got high together (always falling in love, the pot makes me confused as to what with)? Up was down. Black was white. Which was long and was which short: the river flowing east or the thoughts a drunken round of goodbyes brings about?


Even in the glittering clubs of Chelsea or the dancing side-streets of Williamsburg, I know he'll still think of coming back, and I'll still be waiting for him, exactly as co-dependent as he left me. These Spring rains and I are strangers to one another. Why are they here, keeping me company, stuttering at my bedroom window?


It's a lazy paycheck night. Sitting here, stoned amongst friends, a bored anarchist absent-mindedly strums his guitar. Suddenly the sad music of traffic outside, sighing west down the boulevard, harmonizes with his uncertain chords. Studying his fingers seeming to move like weather over the strings- these thoughts of mine just blank and perfect. No one could understand this. Least of all me. Those who could've heard this song this way died years ago.


It's an unfettered confusion, this life. Emptied entirely of concern. So I spent all day drunk, just a heap of unwound muscle half-lidded on the front stoop. I looked out into the yard. There was a crow in the weeds, making known its emptied music. I asked it what season this was. The wind moved on the currents of other caws, dropping from the powerlines that weave the neighbourhood's residential canopy. The gravity of my heartaches sank in and I took another swig from the bottle. Waiting for the cooled surrender of the day, I caught myself singing an old Clash song. I'm done singing now and I forget why.


In the back of a white Camry out east past Shelton on 101 I fell asleep bundled up in homemade quilts with the wind whipping through my hair, amongst the other indifferent passengers. Back home my porch was probably very pretty in the moonlight, good for cigarettes, good to let the smoke drift in through the screen door and get happily entangled in my empty bedclothes.