For Skye at 25
(the Van Halen poem)
(the Van Halen poem)
In the vibrant, kerchugging community of human interests, the
Car stalls, but at least we have the key, don’t we? Anyway, at least we’re here
With the gasoline cupped in our hands, ready to go anywhere
Our hearts desire. And they do desire. And since it’s your
Quarter century mark, it’s high time to ask, where’s the nearest gas
Station, but aren’t those stars cute, what is the Van Allen
Belt, really? Some gorgeous string of protons and celestial
Neurons absolutely inferior to you and yet somehow
Effortlessly illuminating your essence?
Well, that’s always possible, but anyway
Nothing is exciting to a stone, but we’re not stones,
We have lots of modifications to the continuum of eternity to offer.
Riding this junky red Camaro across the deserts
Of delusion where so many of my perceptions seem to be way off base
Yet one thing is certain. I haven’t seen enough of you
In this lifetime. And I can make excuses and I can understand
What the real reasons were, but really
It’s an odd world, that I can tell you, at least from my perspective.
Thieves will give you gifts and holy seers steal your booty.
When the ledger gets filled in, there’s just too many zeroes.
But we don’t want to get all maudlin, we
Want to get high. And I see you, flashing by on a breeze, a falcon
On high, blinding the sun and crying to the moon.
Well, maybe I’m way off base. Maybe you’re blinding
The moon and crying to the sun. Hey, who knows? After all, you’re quite
A practical girl, and I salute that quality in you.
Yet the natural ability to meet the world on its own
Terms does not and never will preclude the concomitant capability
To soar as high as the highest star
In a Ford Fairlane leased from Orion, letting loose
Whoops of insanity in the dead of night.
And it is the dead of night, isn’t it? When all beings
Ponder stupid facts, like the fact I’ve seen too little of you.
But we’ve made a lot of that up now and guiding my shiny velvet green
1962 T-Bird thru the enshrouded mountains of self-doubt, I’m happy,
In fact I’m ecstatic with the notion that you know how to do things
And you’re getting what you want from this rotten world.
The Van Allen Belt has nothing to do with it. Concerning
Your peace of mind, most of the things surrounding me are way off base.
Nonetheless I’m stepping hard on the pedal,
With my steel boots, and sailing out of here into the light of
Self-knowledge, where I see you in your soulful splendor
With that faintly-cackly fun cracked voice of yours spilling out
Against a backdrop of Photoshop-retouched cliffs which look
Strangely like birthday cakes.
Okay, I’m crazy, but I’m crazy about the right things, I hope, such
As yourself and your brother. Guiding this dark blue limo across the plains
Of rapture I’m raising my voice against the winds to offer my joy
And the Belt Parkway and the Infinite Belt of the Fat-Bellied God
Of All Earthy Fools. O I’ve done a few things right in my life, and you are
Something I’m so proud of. So with one hand
I’m demonstrably way off base, scratching my head, but with
The other I’m waving to you in the car of your dreams with the man
Of your dreams slaloming down the Lombard Street of Love, and
Then I’m out of here with thoughts of you careering around
In my overheated mind, missing you like crazy, always.
Happy birthday, daughter! May your tank be full enough and the highway patrol
Officers waiting on the side roads forever distracted.