By Michael Brockley
Every morning I awaken from asking the great lovers of my dreams to share the secrets that scaffold their reputations. Every time I lean my predator ears into their wisdom, the great lovers of my dreams fade into shadows. Into the interruption that is daylight. I’m not the sort of polymath who remembers his 3 a.m. heroics. It’s autumn now. I make excuses that keep me from pursuing that pesky bird. Almost as if I am forgetting all those times trains burst from freshly painted tunnels. The trauma from having countless anvils bounced off my head during retakes. I don’t remember the name of the actress in the last movie I was in, but I would bet my lifetime ACME discount she drove an Aztec-colored Thunderbird. I bought a Thunderbird medallion to wear to a Byrds concert in 1969. “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man.” “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” Front row in that amphitheater carved into the red rocks outside of Denver. Their Rickenbackers peeling like church bells through the clear air in the foothills of the Rockies. I always get funky to road songs. To going nowhere fast in a roadster that pins its ears back before I can floor the giddy-up pedal. “Running on Empty.” That number with the Winslow, Arizona gal in the flatbed Ford. Dylan’s song where God wanted some killing done. Believe it or not, I bought a Roadrunner back then. A turquoise convertible. Custom air for desert driving when we weren’t shooting Chariots of Fur or The Whizzard of Ow. Enough horses under the hood to outrun Johnny Law. I fancied that kitten Pepe Le Pew stalked for seventeen years. I’d push the accelerator to the max with her beside me. One hand scratching my ear while we headed west, trying to escape the desert night. “One Headlight” playing on a butte somewhere ahead of us. I was just a skinny self-proclaimed genius born out of a Mark Twain pun. I guess I paired dynamite with a boomerang once too often. Before long she took up with Ralph Wolf who worked with Sam Sheepdog at Warner. Ralph spent predictable hours rustling lambs. Clocked in with a lunch pail. Drove an SUV. Yosemite Sam couldn’t tell us apart. What do you know! I woke up from a dream where I was looking for the secrets of Slumberland’s great lovers to find myself rambling along a desert highway with the ghost of Penelope Pussycat fading in and out of the shotgun seat. She’d be the first to tell you I never learned that the trick to running across air is to never look down.

About the author

Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana. His poems have appeared in The Thieving Magpie, Young Ravens Literary Review, and Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan. Poems are forthcoming in Flying Island, Unlost, and From the Soil: A Hometown Anthology.

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