Poem | Jonathan Hayes

Photo Credits:  Lee La

American Haiku from the River and a Title Near the End
for Lucinda Williams

Levee Access: Bicycles, Pedestrians, And Authorized Vehicles Only — City Of Santa Cruz Municipal Code

I saw Frank Stanford down by the river
He told me the Devil was in my liver

A snail has been stuck on our front door for weeks.
Heavy rain came pouring down last night

— opening the door in the morning a snail slimes away.

I saw Frank Stanford down by the river
He told me brightly she was a giver

Small brown bird with mouthful of twigs lands on bush.
I sit in porch chair, smoking, drinking, and watching the bird

— it looks at me and says, “Build your own, dude.”

I saw Frank Stanford down by the river
He held a flower and did not shiver

The possum came out of nowhere in the middle of the night.
It walked across our garden and stuck its nose in an empty vase

— I took multiple photos. It didn’t look my way once.

Late Afternoon Shadows and Other Observations

I was planning on coming home after work with a cold 12-pack
To watch some porn all alone, but the wife never left for the day 

 — I got over my frustration, and did laundry instead.

The snails move a little faster than the tree grows 
In which they live in and on its branches

[[[ Big Dipper rollercoaster screams and Pacific waves crashing! ]]]

Robert Louis Stevenson’s ghost and when we are kidnapped
By Monarch butterflies in Pacific Grove forming a superorganism

The birds sing a busy song that disguises the grass snake’s smooth crawl 
Along the levee and by your stupid feet in this concert of going “home”

The dead estuary duck far from the river and on the hard neighborhood street looked like 
A drunk with its head and beak up on the sidewalk and its body on the curb in the street 

Its black, white and yellow coloring still held life even with its dead silence 

I continued my walk home wishing I could’ve done something or thinking I should’ve 
Wrapped the body up in a blanket and thrown it in the dumpster behind the apartment 

Wishing I could fly

Healing with the Monterrey Bay
Peaceful paisanos jug their wine

The orphan is deep as the river and long as the levee 

The river doesn’t know it just flows

I saw Frank Stanford down by the river
He said it was time for dinner

Okra, sorghum, grits, pan-fried chicken, & a fiat lux lullaby

A squirrel dips its head into the vase to sip water with its beady black eye on me:

from one animal to another, I close my eyes to let it know, it’s okay…

“When Daddy told me what happened, I couldn’t believe what he had just said.”

[Pineola plays softly]

The \’krüs\ Creature

The ducks the ducks

What the fuck!?

They quack and quack 

And no good luck

The ducks the ducks

The birds the birds 

The birds singing and ringing

They remind me to sing, whistle, and dance

If you leave the door open the bugs come in and then it’s you and them

Help is just one letter away from Hell

The sunshine on my dick feels so strange

Scratching the mystery

((( la musa once )))

Along the San Lorenzo River, Santa Cruz, California, Spring, 2015

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