The Junction
Published in

The Junction

song for a season of hell

some free verse riffs on the arrival of summer in New Orleans

“Skyline from the Interstate” 2018 ©Steve Spehar

Here we are again
in the place where rivers cross
with ancient watershed,
fingers too, and storm fronts
and gargantuan winds waking from waiting,
the hibernating
of howling hellions, arching to landfall
like a terror of ruthless conquistadors.

Train blowing close by,
arrival of summer,
there is always a train
blowing near around here.
Prepare for the heat,
brace up for the meat-grinder
season of fear,
everything here
is a hazy vision,
a nearsighted scene of a
rising screen of shimmering hot wet
hotness, the hot heated hot
hate of the fucking hot
humid heat, and the
hot and perspiring flesh.

Here I am again
alone in the midst of
this sheltering menace,
this abusive sanctuary,
my haven and my tomb,
the space of the room
an expanse of the sky
and the garden
and doom and the river and rot,
did I mention it’s hot?
A familiar mental construct
where I’ve written the script
and am trapped in the plot,
the comforting grip of an Ouroboric knot.

Time spins a serpent that
begins where it ends,
again and again,
eternal salvation in constant privation,
not to lose, not to gain,
just epiphanic pain.

All the while a higher self
(or the barest part of the middle shelf)
prepares to escape
into a glitch, the torturous restraint
of an unscratched itch,
let go and fly and wish goodbye
and return again and then
to mend and heal, to feel
like we must reside on a wheel,
here we are.

In a place where rivers cross,
and fingers too, and hurricanes.
The stifling grip of summer heat
and the dread, and the dead,
and despair, fetid air,
and yet pride underneath
for enduring the ride
to return, to be born,
in a cavern of light
and shadow and filth,
reticent flesh and original bone,
to come home.

New Orleans, June 2022
Steve Spehar



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Steve Spehar

Steve Spehar

Writer, photographer, actor, poet, musings on life, philosophy, travel, culture, art, politics & zen. Based in New Orleans, living in a garage by the river.