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Pinball Machine
by Dean Pasch

He is red wine not yet borne of grapes.
His absence disappears in a cosmic pinball machine;
cosmic because here everything implies everything,
a metaphor for a journey he takes inside,
free of place names and compass points.
He travels in moments, joined together
the way bells collect molecules, turning them into sound.
His fuel is thought and image bolted together;
mechanical soup spiced with a penchant for the organic.
His season has no falling leaves but does understand
their lack of presence, the way a shadow understands
the sun, and a lover's anguish, the last kiss of a goodbye
He stutters through silence sometimes.
Often he hums a tune he can never finish,
or chooses to pretend he cannot finish.
His plan is to return endlessly to the penultimate
page of his unfinished, unpublished autobiography, then forget who he is.
One day the grapes will be ripe and he will drink their juice. It will be a good day.
A thought will come to rest on an old wooden table. He will remember that last note
and sing it, and feel, and understand

Dean’s November 2010 Southern California Poetry Tour Itinerary


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