The Geometric Lover — A Poetry Chapbook from 1991

Jim Dee
Jim Dee
Apr 25, 2018 · 14 min read
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The Geometric Lover

Part 1: Train Dream

Track one, two, three — Wilkes-Barre bound.
Cars sweep by me so quickly:
Boxcars, and those new round
Chemical cars like rusty sausages with
Ladders and wheels. Small sulfuric
Decals pass my window, too quick
To read: ‘ide and ‘ate are the
Only chemical endings I can catch.
Cars pass by, blurry as smoke-stack smog.
Rust is predominant.

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Part 2: Stegmaier Brewery

Now, the walls here are painted
By graffiti artists and lovers.
However, the tail end of a larger spirit
Can still be seen here;

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Part 3: Talk with the Geometric Lover

The sun drips once more
Through clouded gaskets
And a room is lit up, full of
Valves and pipes which disappear,
Like limbs and branches of a steel tree,
Into holes in the ceiling.

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Part 4: Machine Company 1883

A place near Hollenback Cemetary
Lies so old and ruined,
Spirits may have even left the bricks.
Walking into the turbine room,
I watch a yellow leaf, caught in a spider’s web,
Appearing to float in an empty window frame.

Notes

  1. The Stegmaier Brewery mentioned in the poem refers to a landmark building in the town of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It is a truly exciting piece of architecture and is also, unfortunately, a great ruin. It stands as a constant reminder of the once-thriving spirit and economy of the area when coal was king.
  2. Hollenback is an old cemetery in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, home to some monumental tombstones of the early coal barons. Also a landmark to the turn of the century class stratification, then more defined. It’s neighboring cemetery, the unkept Wilkes-Barre City Cemetery, was for the common and the poor.

1776 (Voice of Emily Dickinson)

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The One Who Never Falls

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Part 1:

You get caught up in walking the tracks,
As if the Earth was still until you walked
Straight up a track on a meridian —
Now the Earth starts to spin,
Pushed behind by your feet.
The more you focus on the rail,
The faster the world goes by,
Without peripheral vision.
You see one rusty rail,
An earth sized tread mill
And just the lateral railroad ties —
You’ve passed the equator again,
The ties are like huge balance beams
And you need one so you stretch
Your arms and suddenly you’re carrying
It on your shoulders and your arms
Become nailed to either end and you are
Walking towards your crucifixion.
You look around and there are others
On the next track walking, trying
Not to fall as if falling would be the
End of the line and someone will
Shove you, railroad tie and all under
The rails to support trains. Every tie you pass
Is someone else who didn’t make it.
Maybe cracks in the wood really are a
Language that says Hier Ruhe
Like old tombstone inscriptions in your
Town cemetery, and they say
This is where he gave up
So they shoved him under the rails
To hold the engines and boxcars.
So you walk on, wondering always
If the far off whistles are warnings
Of things to come. You start to feel
The creosote oil in your blood and
You wonder if maybe you should get off,
Put your ear down to the iron
And hear something far off.
You wonder why some stretches last miles
And then suddenly
A slip, you almost fall,
But twist and contort yourself
Wildly as if nothing is as important as regaining

Balance -

Part 2:

Once, after a close call, your body
Is a perfect curtsey;
Left knee bent, right leg extended back
And to the left, your back bent and head looking
Up to an imaginary lady who is pleased
To meet you and she applauds and so does
The crowd and certain others wipe away your sweat —
You are infallible after this,
The One Who Never Falls.
Save yourself, the others say, if you’re
So great. But you don’t;
Because nothing is so important
As finishing,
To keep on walking,
To keep the world in motion.

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Big Top

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Ringmaster

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Riding a Broken Roller Coaster

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Knott’s Berry Farm

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Waxing

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Punctuation

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Underwater

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Waterwheel

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Changes

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Anchors in the Park

Tonight, I sat with anchors, in the park
And said that maybe sometime, if I was
On the ocean floor, and a warship came overhead,
I would sit on its anchor,
Hold onto a giant chain link
And if it could just hang midway in the water
As the ship moved across the top,
I’d travel along if I could for a while,
Relaxed on the heavy iron and
Soaking in green,
The same way the park is green,
But the grass is algae, the trees kelp,
And exhalations bubble to blurry stars.
Perhaps the river over the next hill
Has changed into a long shale current,
The Susquehanna current, they might call it,
A fluctuating current — now thick, now thin,
Here fast, there slow. Even the concrete bridges
Aren’t manmade anymore, rather natural wonders
Like giant coral,
So abstract now that it would do just as well
To say someone built the distant mountains,
Or the stars, or else to say that no one built
These anchors I’m sitting on. I’ve become
A fish who doesn’t contemplate the
Broken bottle which makes his home in the river;
A part of the nature is all it is,
Same as anchors are part of the river commons park,
And I am a part of their ocean.


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Jim Dee

Written by

Jim Dee

Web guy at ArrayWebDevelopment.com; author of books & blogs. See: JPDbooks.com.

Hawthorne Crow

Tales, rants, observations — blog of Jim Dee, long-haired smart ass, self-employed web developer, hyper-creative writer, musician, renaissance man, defiant, prone to philosophization, as-always a pyro, ever-frustrated cat owner, free agent, bandanna wearer.

Jim Dee

Written by

Jim Dee

Web guy at ArrayWebDevelopment.com; author of books & blogs. See: JPDbooks.com.

Hawthorne Crow

Tales, rants, observations — blog of Jim Dee, long-haired smart ass, self-employed web developer, hyper-creative writer, musician, renaissance man, defiant, prone to philosophization, as-always a pyro, ever-frustrated cat owner, free agent, bandanna wearer.

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