Friendships materializing late in life have a special and different color to them. They will not be understood in this lifetime, but will spew unpredictable fruits and blossoms in times to come.

think I did him wrong
cutting strings, a lapse of kindness
now to whistle these amends
into the slipstream
might angels guide its postage

he told me more than once
how he hoped he’d still not be here
when all the fecal matter
hits the whirring blades
of modernity, soon, soon

he foresaw it in the hellish glare
of secret Utah data centers
cameras on your fingernails
private converse relegated
to eccentrics with strong memory

art metastasized into money-think
seeping into lovenotes and science
and recreation and childhood and speech
opinion molded into blandness
uncurious in the self-blurring center

think I did him wrong
a dispute defending nothing
even his hero Assange betrayed him
targeting leaks as agenda weapons
an exposed amoral info war drone pilot

how he hated what the analytics fomented
reducing philosophy to anal irrelevance
and how he strove even yet
to force feed himself beauty
within math, obscure musics, and arts

there’s an oddly scented freedom
when new friends begin past summer
no more trespasses now to pay for
duties become more voluntary
we may juxtapose colors as imagined

and what we tentatively commence then
is not writ on earthly ledgers
but cocooned in grace for novel portents
because fates only frolic during sunsets
to seed yet unclaimed starbursts in forgiveness


[ Image : a detail from a Caspar David Freidrich’s “Wanderer Above the Sea Fog” (1817). The painting was a favorite of Jean-Cliff; I think it came up during some discussion we had about Nietzsche. Actually, ‘favorite’ is the wrong descriptor. More to the point it haunted him, the unstillable longing of the postmodern faced with the impossible compromise inherent in his received worldview, which he alone, utterly alone, must resolve to struggle against and topple. ]  (link)

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