POETRY ATTIC: Subterranean Serpents & Woodward Ave

// Photography: Jeff Wolfe //

Subterranean Serpents

Let eyes be cloaked
careful with every step.
Guide leads by the hand,
still fumbling through darkness.
Desperate and cold before the locked gates.
The blinds of convention, so long they have misdirected.

On a new kind of black immersion, 
primordial dark birth. 
Unruly dry sands of gnosis – 
escape clutched hands.
Stood at the cosmic brink –
silently dropping tears, 
evaporated by empty dry heat.


Self-inflicted cut.
Offer blood, make peace.
Wait tired, until the angels
get around to me.

Hidden in plain sight, the triumph
of timeless symbols.
Power, awaiting activation.
Distance so far traveled,
arriving at the precise moment
to deliver the missing peace

Transcendence at the tip of a sword.        
Deeds and actions weighed,
pray for favor.
Eternal verdict is the key to
enter the secret current
issuing from beyond time.

Echoes of vows that came before
ensure protection of the gift.
To go forth into the light
by the scent of the red rose
and by taste of the sacrament
dipped in salt of our earth
and by red wine, the blood of life,
so vital and drunk.


Make good with the purification
so that inner eyes may be opened.

Summon the formless and faceless.
Call them to unveil all that is unknown,
worthy of any price.
The body trembles under the weight
of a moment unlike any other,
not to be found anywhere above ground.

For the cave is where drama plays and plays.
The worthy arrive ready
to the call.

Each player at hand, lends their body/mind
in service to the role.
Icon upon icon in procession,
transitioning between worlds
held up by pillars.

Winds of change usher forth,  
provoking screams of the red dragon.
May the scepter protect and draw in light.

Circles upon circles cast
and gates upon gates crossed
in order to gain admittance.

The possibility of transcendence casts
shadows, while invocations carry prayers
beyond the spheres, beyond the wood,
all through the night.


Woodward Ave.

It’s late when the second-guessing sets in.
Reliving too many moments,
playing the other parts to no good end.

Waiting around on a phone that doesn’t ring –
our timing has always been off.
The days of agreement were short-lived.

I drive up and down Woodward Ave.
The things that don’t change remind me
of everything that has.

The lines on my face started on the Avenue.
I was a boy that cared, then didn’t. Now I’m caring again.
All the adjacent neighborhoods that feed the Avenue,
I wonder if those people are as tired and forlorn as me?


Side by side we pass in the night,
all trying to get somewhere else
before it gets too late.

Little by little all the connections are gone,
impasses grown too great.
Up and down Woodward Ave.,
can I climb from the front to the back
to be a small passenger once again?

To come out from under the weight of
all the miles in between.

What most surprises me was so damn predictable, even then.
That’s the way it ends on Woodward Ave.

Don’t you wonder where I am?
Don’t you wonder who I’ve been?

It’s not as if we’re on separate islands
but it sure as hell feels that way.
I let you make me so insignificant,
until I make a mess you can’t ignore.

How much distance and time do you need to make it right?
Patience goes fast even when I’m traipsing
up and down Woodward Ave.
One of us is going to have to die first.
What evidence will be added to the record then?
With just a few old pictures to show for it all.
I can’t erase you without erasing me,
so I have to keep them and their worn down memories.

They all ride along with me in the trunk,
driving on the Avenue.
Eyes stay haunted by the questions, the questions, the questions.
No minutes on the clock with answers.


In the meantime there’s a girl on the Avenue
waiting on a ride.
We met on the corners of Lost and Found.
There’s enough room in the trunk for her stuff too.

This road is ours on this cold night.
Changing lanes to stay ahead,
still winding up under construction
and stopped at a red light.

Roll down the windows to smell
someone else’s pain.
We let the silence speak.
Voices of ghosts in our head to keep
us company.

Just another drive on Woodward Ave.

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