My friend knew a cloistered group in Berkeley
who made acid. We drive 3 more people up to
the Bay to get to another show another couch all
huddled in the back of my Corvair, Poi Dog
Pondering on the tapedeck. We spend what is left
of night in People’s Park, wake up, get in the coffee
line, mostly homeless, drifters. A woman guesses
I’m a scorpio, no a cancer, then I disengage, step back.
You’ve got a mask on, don’t you? You’ve got a mask!
she screams. Yes, maybe I do. We find the chemist
around 9:30, already drinking a Sheaf Stout.
He’s not much for conversation, doesn’t have room
with so many busy monks deciphering those texts. Me and D
start the long drive back to Isla Vista, decide to taste
a hit from the sheet we bought, but it tears off crooked
so it ends up being 2 each. The dry wheaten mountains
begin to undulate, flow with velvet, roll long hips
and shoulders across Gilroy into Salinas into Soledad.
We stop to fill up and a man asks us for a ride,
brings a box of butter lettuce with him. He doesn’t speak
much English, but D navigates off the 101 through rows
of fields, houses, finally stopping. He gives us each a
supple lettuce head which we absorb with languorous
mastication over another 50 miles. By the time we
reach Pismo we switch drivers, I rest, stare at the
horsefroth of the Pacific. We pull in, put the flat
sheet in my freezer behind the ancient peas and go get a
forty ounce Mickey’s, watch the lacing between the planets
fall, reform. We tell our roommates not to touch
the dangerous perforated paper. We try with ropes and
phrases to return.
Scott Ferry helps Veterans heal as a RN and attempts to be handsome enough for his wife and patient enough for his daughter. He has recent work in RadiusLit and Poetry Superhighway. His manuscript Book of 24 Streets was a semifinalist in the 2017 Floating Bridge Press chapbook competition.
Photo by Samara Doole.