It must be the return of a long-lost friend that has me turning to Neil Young (AGAIN).
The way his body moves, the transcendent tremor of his voice, the depth of his eyes.
I would tell her these things and she would already know.
It was 1973 when she professed her love for Neil Young to me, and I said "who?"
She did things I could never do, though the longing for them lingers deep in my bones.
I searched for her for many years, trying to find a trace of her wild laugh and
I wrote her this poem, a short tale of her and me, and Neil.
It's great to have you back, my friend, it's unicornical.
~Neil to Neil~
It was early 1970s around the time I had a plan to
head west and join a friend who’d found wings
and fled the Midwest mindset to Berkeley.
All the families watching Vietnam on TV
sitting around dinette sets
aproned mothers at the window calling
for their lost hippie daughters.
My friend’s hair grew past her waist - flaxen webs
she twirled to lasso dreams and maybe catch a glimpse
of Neil Young in a ride up the mountain, to La Honda.
Oh my god I can't imagine it I said.
I'm in a Chevy Nova with a guy named Bear
a cassette of "On the Beach” blaring as
he rolls a joint with one hand asking what I see
in this "Neil Diamond" guy with the nasal voice.
It was just around the time a psychic,
it could have been Shirley McLaine's psychic,
said in a past life Neil Young had been a Chief at Chaco Canyon.
Of course it has to be past life I told my friend there is no
other explanation and she said when are you coming out here
the mangos are so ripe and there is magic
in the making all along Telegraph Avenue,
every which way you turn.
I make it out there once, then twice then never again
but late at night I’d call her on the phone to describe his arm.
You should have seen it I told her, the length of his radius and the way
his muscle moves when he plays guitar - the line of hair like the
last ridge of scrub before the dunes collapse in sea.
It was sometime after that concert - the one with the forearm fixation -
that she dropped out of sight, somewhere off the radar.
I picture a lightning bolt.
In dreams I see two Indian maidens
one flaxen-haired and twirling
the other waving her arms to the music
like a bird in flight.