A Native

This place, this now, you can see it

you can see what it is too, beside

the quiet border you trace around it

this is a home town too, among other things

among everything else. I was born here, 

in this empty lot, that was a hospital

in a room with one rectangular window 

packed with people I would never see again,

including my mother. Cities are cruel that way

but not all together so, there is a mother here

in the rubble and the dust, and as far 

as I ever got I came back to it, 

I learned to love it

to love myself in it. 

The west was won in a saloon

over a poker hand 

and a screaming slot machine. 

This place remembers even the drinks that were spilled 

the out turned pockets, and moment before 

the wheel stopped turning and any number 

was a winner, you had to pick one was all, 

and you did, because the charm was ammonia 

on a weary life. There was beauty in it, and I 

can remember coming home over the valley to 

an oasis of light. The stars were false

but the city was true, I felt it then, a fortune 

of gaudy joy, be this city, it said to me, 

and I was, suddenly and always a native. 
–ECW

Stray Evening

Dreaming: I walk the city
places I dare not go by day
are nigh roads lit velvet in the mists
which cloak the town;
which cloaks my trek.
This is a city in a dream
fearful but unwinding
I find the roads once closed
to me are open
so such is my mind;
so such is the way.
We go where we mean to
without hesitation
this is the gift of a dream;
this is the burden of dreamers.
A lamplight careless road,
where I can pace the median
and feel no urgency.
Places I have mapped retain their luster
despite their infinite recesses:
our starlit swinging doors.

–ECW