Originally posted 3/1/2010.
Left at the top of the stairs.
Another left, then a right.
Here’s the blue room I lived in for years,
the room I drywalled and painted for myself
with my father’s help.
It’s still small.
It’s still blue.
I chose the color
and the embarrassing blue shag carpet.
I helped to lay the oak floors that underlie that —
beautiful wood I covered with blue shag carpet.
Hours fitting new grooves to the just laid tongues,
nailing through the new tongues at the right angle.
I used to smoke dope out the window
with a pipe I made from a radiator valve
listening to my first FM radio,
freeform programming, late 60s,
Mickey and Sylvia after Rashaan Roland Kirk.
I stopped thinking the world was rigid and orderly.
No one’s vacuumed since I left.
I found a cannabis seed in the blue shag carpet.
One time I dropped acid here
and decided to stare at myself in the mirror
for too long. I took a piece of notebook paper
and wrote a whole story
that sounded pretty much like this one.
If I lived here now
I’d tear up this rug
and see how the oak planks have held up
and if it they were still good
I’d stain them and polish them
and that would be the floor.
I’d paint the walls a different blue
and when I was done I’d play the radio
and smoke a big joint
in plain view of the windows
while thinking about Rashaan Roland Kirk
who owned the blues and one working arm and no sight,
I’d follow up by singing
“Love Will Make You Fail In School”
like I haven’t in years.
It’s still true, I can vouch for that;
I wrote about it once,
long ago, with a blue pen
on a piece of blue lined notebook paper
while the carpet wiggled and writhed.
My eyes wouldn’t stay in my head.
They might wander off again right now, my eyes might.
Take a left, left. Take a right, right.
I could be blind on a cold oak floor
if it meant I could feel free again.