“Clinton Street” (or “A Night Lived Before”)

MAGNET POETRY: after many rain / which hell did one body storm / hesitant desert

Last night I believe that I jumped back in time
Not merely in one way, but two
And in doing so did I touch the divine
And felt something old, yet still new

The lighting, the setting, the music, the people
The classic wood panels lining the wall
Instilled within me a feeling so peaceful
I knew I’d already experienced it all

I was, all at once, shunted into the past
To an era long gone, full of archetypes faded
A time full of passion, when hope was the mast
Of a ship that reality had not yet degraded

The lit’ral time felt was decades gone by
The time of my parents, of hippies and love
When music reflected the soul’s inner high
And the good fight seemed sent from a power above

But my time travel also did come from within
A time in my story that was and was not
A piece of my history both truth and fiction
A night lived before, in a dream, or a thought

Everything done there had happened before
Every soul that I met was well known
Like an ocean, which lapping its waves on the shore
Is at once always new, yet still home

My eyes, for the night, were a lens; Super8
A dull, hazy filter, muted colors and tone
Piercing the veil, seeing through chance and fate
To the joint source from which all are honed

There was dancing, joke-telling, philosophical fits
Conversations were long, and the laughter was hasty
A nose got its kicks off my flow’ry armpits
And I chased a drunk blocks for his safety

These specifics, fragmented mementos and flashes
Of a night lived so often before
Matter little, once embers transform into ashes
When the importance resides in the door

A door to the past, to the future, the soul
To the heart of what makes us all one
I touched something pure, caught a glimpse of the whole
Something holy, that shone like the sun

‘Twas a night not unique, not the first or the last
Time I’d open this door and walk through
But like any jump into the soul’s future-past
I know that my consciousness grew

So if ever you find this door open wide
And into the heart of it view
Embrace it, and dip in that ocean’s tide
And remember, that ocean is you

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