The Gravel Diaries
by Martin Ott
The pen scratches a long-ago itch.
A one-eared dog brays at a coyote
invading his street. The delivery
truck coughs too close for comfort.
I hid away in my room, lost in yellow,
the light stabbing villains and time –
washed pages. A child’s toy dagger
hisses in the scabbard. The LA River
gurgles in a tectonic bouillabaisse.
My heroes for a time hid in spines.
Damp shirts on the balcony ululate
on a swinging noose. An inconsolable
lover sighs only within earshot.
The wail follows me from when my husky
was put to sleep. The smart phone quakes
in the middle of the night. Shrapnel
whistles for its fleeing companions.
I read one book for each time I cleaned
my rif le. Gravel grinds its endless migration
back home. Friends were lost to distance,
to madness, to drugs and to the ditch
I tossed things into when I fled the scene.
Losses pile up, rumble from yet another
subterranean port. Passage is paramount.
Books saved me from the abyss.