the great northern poem

has not been written. No, but it is here. It’s there, North of your first breath, North of your

free speech. North of going bald or being blind. North of crumpled papers filling the wicker

basket like a small castle. North of all that. North of a dark mountain cave and North of a

dead house pet. North of conversations with strangers in the wind or at a bus stop. It’s

North of Billy Collins and North of Kenneth Rexroth. It’s North of winning at Scrabble

with the word icy or igloo. It’s up north of five dollars and five million for that matter. It’s

North of Ikea, North of daydreams of climbing tall limber trees and certainly North of

motherly advice. I can see it, North of your smoking father and North, yes, of your cousin

Ted. It’s North of New York and a new San Francisco. It’s North of the road and North of

the road less traveled. It’s Northbound on an old train trudging towards a blazing horizon.

It’s North of yesterday and a brand new millennium. It’s North of no parking and North of

the entire kafuffle. It’s North of sitting on the fence. North of superheroes with bad breath

and getting even with cold enemies. Yes, it is slightly north of a genuine smile. North of

the plague, the dentist, and unfortunately, the florist. It’s North of Stockholm syndrome

and a WestJet seat sale. It can be seen over there, moving North in the headlights of a

speeding sports car. It’s so far North of the American Dream and you would be surprised

how far North it is of dying young. It’s North of drowning in an almost empty bathtub.

It’s North of a drunken tangent and North of making the magic last. I assure you, it’s North

of where you sit and North of this moment. But just North of this poem, stumbling through

a blizzard, this is what I meant to show you.