Karl Roulston

The astronomical map on the wall has peeled itself from the eyes of apathy, as leaves of time invade the room from a 1968 window.  Lift the lid on the waxy hatch and jump into the milk bath; nestle where the powders melt and every spouting garden hose will greet a dawn of green and smiling buds, and all can sing with flowing heart of grass rendered robust as an elephant’s fecundity, and all can link their hands and orbit like the planets on a map that’s covered a square of wall since 1968, concealing a secret tryst of scribbled numbers.  As feather-freighted pollen and swarms of spiky spores engender mist in fields of fluff, the limbs of youth you spent in fighting trim will trail the woods to streets of trees, will tackle the fish that flips the skillet of grilled bread, with gills that gasp at the sight of the sun flying the kite of a tiny plywood airplane, over the avenue and into the schoolroom window, shattering air in sixty-eight shards and sweeping through the acrid smell unfolding from the foil packet’s napkin, then right back out like a dragonfly to frighten tears of joy as it seeks the black beyond the blue, as it follows the blues from the window of a radio that zooms through realms of funk, passing flaxen frocks and eyes of poppies, ribbon candy tresses and rosebud pouts of pink, landing in the evening in a clearing filled with cars.  Here’s where beams of sunlight moonlight, shooting pictures onto a screen, and there’s nothing left to do but prop a speaker in the station wagon window and sit and watch the movie.  If you need a reason to go for a spin, I guess it's as good as any, if all that you need is to see some flickery movement and hear some echoey sound.  If you need a reason to draw some squiggly pictures, another breath or a glass of water, well, all I can offer is pockets--and some 1968 windows.       


Karl Roulston can be heard reciting his words and blowing his blues harp throughout the New York metropolitan area, most frequently at Brant Lyon's monthly Hydrogen Jukebox event at the Cornelia Street Cafe.  His works have seen print in various publications, including the Spring 2011 issue of Bitter Oleander.