. The Poet's Beat .

. The Poet's Beat .
"A working class citizen is apt to see this country for what it's worth... A miasma of interlocking variations on differing demographics and geographies unlike any other inhabited space in the world. The American Dream. The rolling footloose hills and the upstanding Apache badlands where criminals cut bread with priests and the children of Hollywood. I am no different. Yet I am still brazen enough to think that the world is a playground built by the rugged hands of a hard-working man in order that my fantasies be materialized." -- P.P. Vonnersdale

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

They Danced Polka and Slept in Geese-Turd Fields

Bear Mountain State Park Oktoberfest 2010 in Upstate New York = So much fun! Maybe I should write a poem about it...

Oktober in the North Country,
Where painted mountains whistle a chilly Autumn breeze,
Scarves wrapped tight around our necks,
Shoulders pressed against shoulders,
A visiting hand in your coat pocket,
Where the train snakes lonely through the trees,
The Hudson River beneath the windows of the Metro North,
Where thru-hikers pass idly from the trail,
(Two for you and two for me)
We’ve come up from the city.

Saturdays aren’t meant for being up so early,

Brownstones fade behind us
As we munch on bagels and muffins to pass the time,
Wandering from the empty train platform down the lane,
Where we would wobble back later in scorn of sobriety,
We cry Rebellion along the private road,
Such good-looking youth noble born and foreign bred,
In defiance of land ownership and the rights thereof,
Who could charge us today?
Who could stop us in our quest for German beer?
Harold, city kids are disobeying laws again.

The bleached white tents of the vendors beckon through the trees,

Like day-ghosts or the lost molars of some ill-mouthed giant
They line the path beside the lake displaying their wares,
Candies of every origin, fudge and the like,
Irresistible koala bear hats with tassels that dangle,
Crafty cigar boxes and pumpkins painted with faces where knife marks should be,
Bratwurst, pork knuckle, wiener schnitzel, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, frankfurters,
And of course,
That dark soothing swill which is the elixir potent of the Germanic people,
Poured into overly large steins unfit to be managed by a single hand,
An oasis in an ogre’s thick glass mug that has drawn us thirsty to these grounds,
Hipster pilgrims with fermented suds on their upper lips.

We chase the sun with our picnic table and lift beer laden steins when it breaks,

Elusive rays reflect in an amber waterfall expelled by hearty cheers,
Appease its warm smile and it will perhaps stay longer next time,
Despite warmth’s timidity the crowd thickens,
Our own loose tongues do the same,
We seem to be drowning in laughter, in stories, in camaraderie, in golden drink,
Cameras pull the memories into their guts for later tell,
An accordion is squeezed and high country tunes float about,
The band in leather lederhosen, suspenders and Bavarian alpine hats,
Calling for the Hokey Pokey, for the Funky Chicken,
For other songs in a garbled language heard intermittently on the festival air,
We put one leg in,
We put one leg out,
Soon thereafter it’s being shaken all about.

Ride the still-frame plastic turkey beneath the carousel’s canopy,

And frogs and leaping otters and around and around we dance,
Surrounded by judgmental geese like bowling pins on the grass,
We fall into each others’ lap,
Disregarding what the geese have left behind for a nap in the warm sunlight,
Exchanging what stories are left,
Light-headed the world spins as if we’re still on the carousel,
Glistening whip-cream fingers,
How fancy is life in the fuzzy aftermath of a glorious day,
Where there is nowhere to be but in a field,
Where thru-hikers pass willy-nilly intent on distant shores,
(Still two to two)
High-flying buzzards bemoan the park’s beauty and wait for what’s left,
Or are they vultures?

Oktober in the North Country,

Where sinuous mountain roads lead us back to the platform in the dark,
Some of us teeth chattering and wet,
Having braved the cold lake to the delight of Japanese tourists,
Naked bodies like shooting stars in the reflected sky,
We hold close one another,
And our empty steins,
Feet leading us home when our heads are too distracted for the task,
Where the train’s bright eye searches along the shore,
Calling from the valley,
To find us gathered on the wooden planks,
We are tired and worn thin with exaltation,
To return to the city.



  1. I really love the image you've painted. It's fully experience-able.

  2. Thank you. It was the most amazing time in the most amazing place with the best of people. This poem's words started speaking to me even before we left those grounds.