Ode to the first Smith…

 

I remember when

it grabbed my ear,

turned it upside down

underneath that winded loft

in the middle of a harvest moon.

There

I herded my salvation,

garnered my reason

and found my way.

 

It was my Uncle’s tap,

tap….

tap tap tap

and the Smith Corona

wrapped around the paper flesh

that wooed me.

The faint smell of ink

began it’s swing shift

in my ole’ factories

as I peeped my messy head

above the horizon

of the last

loft step.

 

Eye

watched quietly

as my uncle hunched over

that typewriter desk,

humming to himself

out of key,

scratching against the paper grain

tapping tap tap

tapping

until his world faded away.

 

 

With lash and eyeball

I was stuck

on a ladder

as the moon glow

slipped

into

the tiny

window

above

his balding plot

that held the secret

to the story,

somewhere

in the folds of his brain.

 

It was my road to Damascus,

I would no longer

kick against

my fate.

It was the day

everything changed

and the night

I have kept secret

from all the other nights.

 

The mind’s river

swelled and                          bu s te d,

too fast for thought or intervention,

spilled the smallest seed of mustard

and dog

then

licked clean the snout and rifleman.

Rugged in Persian rain

and complaints,

the fantastic tongue

that speaks loyalty and sugar coats shame,

became mine.

The wide open mouth

that curses and gives blessings,

thee spring

that gives both saltwater to drown in,

fresh water for the driest tooth,

A baptismal water

for a young believer

to be buried in

and rise up in

the garden of

rock and rose.

The voice of a nation,

the screams of a whore.

Orders of French fries,

orders to kill,

orders for peace

And apple

pan

pies.

Words that make

men

fall

in love,

words

that push men

to kill

in the name of love.

A pot of sounds

blended and spoiled in the sun,

grammar for the stars

nailed to the

door on a note.

All of these were under the spell of the tap tap tap.

 

A Language lost in the garages

of Amerikkka

left in the wind of verbatim.

That incantation of the world’s words

infected my lonely brain

and sealed my soul salvation.

The same sounds that laid inside pop songs

and hid in the old woman’s pine,

The slang of the ghettos and jailhouses,

the dialect of lawyer and judge;

became an unending

solidarity

for me and my unknown

comrades.

 

 

It was that night my uncle left

the legs

of his loft chair

lonely

… I snuck in

and began

my

tap

tap

tapping

until I found

my

freedom.

My old world began to fade away

and my secret

utopia

was

manifested.

 

D.A. Medina

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