Notes on Lost Highway
The mind falls apart like a woman without shoes. I sit by the window with an antler. Found it out
down there. In the pines. My ventricle from heaven. Bone-bright. Tough. Unlike the frayed plate
of my thumb nail, or any other comfort I’ve been known to stroke in the dark. Lit with lightning.
Often I think of Townes Van Zandt before he was famous. A mad boy. Whose parents loved
him. Enough to get him electric shock therapy behind mint-green doors. As his molars bit the
leather stick, where did his spirit go? They say grief is a place. Mine’s a desert. Here’s another
allusion to a lost, brilliant man who could have been my father. I have as many as the day is
long. As the dusk is coyote-hungry. A mentor once said why don’t you listen to something else
when I wanted her to ask who–not what–are you looking for? Oh I have fortified, one might say
calcified myself against the heat. Sigils tattooed on my fingers. Poison to sedate my hands. From
killing all the deer. Each one a day. Galloped through me.
This poem was inspired by the musician's drawing, Lost Highway. Townes Van Zandt (American) 1980. Click here to view it.
Clare Welsh is a writer and visual artist living in Pittsburgh. Her most recent poems can be found in The Los Angeles Review and The Southeast Review. She is working on a book.
The Ekphrastic Review
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