Kaminski Writing

"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” _Kerouac

Driving Home, Windows Down.

I drove directly from work to Traffic Jam in Midtown, Detroit. My roommates were there, finishing what appeared to be filling meals of burger and barbecue. I ordered a stout and checked some articles about the “new” iPad. They didn’t give it a distinctive name and it seemed to make some analysts uncomfortable.

I didn’t say much at the bar. I stood and looked at the obvious segregation. A room of blacks, a few single white guys, and a couple of couples around the corner of the bar. I couldn’t stop eyeing one beautiful girlfriend, wondering if I’ll ever be willing to blend into someone the way she was.

I found my way into my second glass. Finally decided to sit on the stool I had been eyeing for some time. It had a coat, but no person. I noted the wood grain of the bar and the 11 o’clock news playing silently overhead. Exhausted, we cleared our tabs.

I drove alongside my cousin on his bike and we agreed that we would both go bald because of our genes. Our roommate Alex showed up shortly after speeding to catch up on his mountain bike, and speeding up to meet the pavement. It sounded pretty bad, but a few drinks keeps you loose. He got up and we laughed. I left the two behind and made my way down Woodward.

I had the windows down, and it always makes me feel that I’m driving faster than I am. I sped up to each red light. Sitting. Waiting for the gate to lift. I felt the wind. In some ways, I saw the wind squeezing its way through buildings and narrow alleyways. Pushing its way toward my driver side window.

There’s something to be said of the wind where we live. It carries our dirt and scent. It carries our screams and hollers. As I drove home with the windows down, I was covered in wind. Buried in it. Led by the power of Detroit, directing me home.

 

_ Kevin Kaminski 2012

Homeless Soul

I was driving and saw a homeless man holding a sign that read, “Please help this homeless soul.” I thought it was an interesting request. How could I, passing in my car, offer anything to satiate this appeal. What value has he placed on the soul. Would a few quarters do the trick? But perhaps more troubling is the thought of a homeless soul. A soul with no home? A soul with no body, with no respite. I wonder if this man felt so displaced that his body for all intents and purposes became useless, that he had no need for it and was therefore merely interested in reparation for his soul, the one remaining, salvageable remnant of his identity. Would it be a kind word he needed, an eager ear to hear his story, or simply the touch of another human being to bring him home?

Surely I could be a realist and acknowledge that a good meal and warm bed would help this man. I could venture a guess that he’d like a few quarters for whatever provisions. Perhaps I’m an arrogant white-priveledged ignorant yuppie for dissecting the semantics of a homeless man’s sign. But the sign gave me pause. Beyond reasons and reservations I have about giving money to the homeless without question, it made me conscious of the greater issue in play. This man was commenting on the effect homelessness has exhibited on him. He was voicing his discontent with more accuracy than I’ve seen on most crudely cut cardboard signs.

I felt for him, albeit I doubt that was anything to help. I felt a pang of empathy because how many there are of us with homeless souls. Souls searching for something, for some purpose, for some meaning, for some sign to point us in the right direction. We’re all here, giving up on dreams and inspiration, settling on street corners and avenues, in alley-ways and clean-cut sub-developments. Homeless souls long deserted in youth when we were told we had to stop chasing the muse. I know I could never dream to guess the pain this man has suffered. I know that I’ve had opportunities handed to me that have kept me from a similar life. But is there not a significance, if not a deeper hurt, in his acknowledgement of the condition of his soul? Is it not more raw and honest than many would dare to confess. Is it only in hardship that we come to a precipice where we must voice the holler of our soul?

I don’t know what would help this man with a homeles soul. I don’t know his story. I don’t know what led him to his current condition. I don’t know where he goes after he leaves the corner at 75-N and Mack. I don’t know how to help with his request, with his soul, with his sign.

 

_ Kevin Kaminski 2012

The Poles of Highland Park

The lower stage
In Highland Park
Bursts with light and and semen.
Poles like scepters,
Stainless-steel erections of empty wallets.
Open pussy staring raw into the
Gaping mouths of skeleton-men
While unknowing girls line up for George Washington
In his underwear.
Wooden penis ready as well as armed on a white horse.
Beats beating the backs of boys
Hoping for a dance.
Hopeless for romance
She lowers her tits
Into the cherry glow of his
Cigarette.

She removes her amour
Beneath excited filaments.
Selling glances from her painted eyes;
Polishing the poles with dirty cloth.
Hoping to be paid in dirty cloth.
Settle-up with the clerk on the panty-line
Wet with Washingtons
Drowning in lives unfulfilled
Filled with mocking mirrors and music

Beats

Beating boys
Off in tenebrous corners.
Beating back the persistence
Of glazed grins drooling
In surrealistic pleasures
Reflected in endless mirrors
The angel in light descends the steps
Like lightning

–Oh?
“Hey baye-bee”
It’s $20 for a hand-job.

_ Kevin Kaminski 2012

Into the Dust

I draw your face with sandstone
On sandstone
Sloppily.
It looks like no one
But dust.
We laugh
And you destroy my artistic abilities with your words.
I am no Monet, VanGoh, or God.

We lay our bodies down
In the desert sun
On dust.
Waiting for the sun to cool our bodies
So we can wander home
In blind darkness.
So we can drive back to our room,
On empty
Going 90.
Through the black
Construction paper night.
We cut through.
Going fast.

I stand on the horizon
As you put your arms out
Into the wind
And we holler wildly
Into the invisible power.
We cannot hear
Except the sounds of rushing water
Cutting deep
Into the earth.

We gather the red dust
In our hands
We release it.
It flies.
It never touches the ground again.
We are giant egg timers
With all the time in the world.
So we throw stones,
And they too,
In all their weight,
Never hit the bottom.

I stand miles away
Looking out in a crazed wonder.
I leap.
And you cautiously watch
To see if I too will hit the ground.

_ Kevin Kaminski 2012