my town (thank you, thornton wilder) by Mike Klumpp

THORNTON WILDER ON THE SET OF OUR TOWN AT THE WILBUR THEATRE IN BOSTON, JANUARY 1938
THORNTON WILDER ON THE SET OF OUR TOWN AT THE WILBUR THEATRE IN BOSTON, JANUARY 1938

my town (thank you, thornton wilder)

EMILY: “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”

STAGE MANAGER: “No. Saints and poets maybe…they do some.”
Thornton Wilder, Our Town

saints and poets?
i have been both
in fact
a trinity of sorts
saint – poet – and madman
mad for life
tearing at the sky
bleeding into the night
my pulse
a star’s twinkle
simpatico
synchronicity
two
pulsing as one
one on earth gazing into the night
one in the night
gazing back down to earth

mad to linger on the edge of a bottle of cheap wine
mad to list in a plastic chair at a laundromat
tipped to the side and dyed
slacks sharp
shoes shined
reflecting the cheap dreams of a man with money to spend
a paycheck’s worth
no future and no plan for tomorrow
tomorrow never comes – jack
somewhere on a railroad in mexico
the track runs out – neal
as though to mock time – bill outlives you all
ginsburg fades into his own naval and disappears
even the poets don’t recognize the names

i threw down a few rhymes
times and a half
time
beat and a quarter
beat
a sixteenth note
a sax and a moon and a bag full of bottle
throttle open
leather and lust and a leap from the dusk to the dawn
land upon morning
barely made it
landing on the sweet edge of daybreak
the poet
pen in a hand stained with sadness
tears
and black ink
words moaned into paper and forgotten

“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?”

mad to hold the hand of Jesus
a saint by virtue of grace
no good no bad just aware
born in another world adjacent to the world around me
lost in the dark
holding hands with Jesus
walking

“People are meant to go through life two by two. ’Tain’t natural to be lonesome.”

two by two
and yet alone
one by one reaching through the lonesome
falling
failing
flailing
flattened by the beauty and the pain
drained
insane for comfort
finding little outside of the bottle and the laughter
of drunken men on the skids
the broken
hopeful
hidden
hollow
hallowed
and alone

we are the saints and poets
we are the madmen
holding hands outside the Cabildo
chanting
around our shared wine
in New Orleans
halleluiah
we are in motion
frozen in time for a moment
and gone
walking on water
like the moon on the mississippi
or sunlight on lake pontchartrain

i have walked on various waters
the atlantic
the pacific
the indian
each from both sides
the tom bigby
the gulf of mexico
the ohio
the illinois
the baltic
the persian gulf
lake victoria
the nile
the yellow sea
and i am not unchanged

“Only it seems to me that once in your life before you die you ought to see a country where they don’t talk in English and don’t even want to.”

Thornton, i hear you
i heard you

“STAGE MANAGER: Most everybody’s asleep in Grover’s Corners. There are a few lights on: Shorty Hawkins, down at the depot, has just watched the Albany train go by. And at the livery stable somebody’s setting up late and talking. Yes, it’s clearing up. There are the stars doing their old, old crisscross journeys in the sky. Scholars haven’t settled the matter yet, but they seem to think there are no living beings up there. Just chalk … or fire. Only this one is straining away, straining away all the time to make something of itself. The strain’s so bad that every sixteen hours everybody lies down and gets a rest. He winds his watch. Hm. . . . Eleven o’clock in Grover’s Corners. You get a good rest, too. Good night.”

and i hear you now
i am ready for coffee with chicory on decatur
one more day
and one more night
and then some rest
from all this walking.

Michael “Mike” Klumpp Born: New Orleans, Louisiana. Educations: New Orleans Academy, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Dallas Theological Seminary. Degrees and Special Training: B.A. English, M.A. Biblical Studies, Holds Black Belts in 6 different disciplines, 5th Dan Amerian Mixed Martial Arts, Meteorology School of the Air Force. Awards: Most Valuable Athlete, Best Supporting Actor, Numerous Poetry Awards including Pushcard Nomination 2003, Who’s Who in America’s Teachers 1993, 1994, Coached 1990 State Semi-final Football Team Christway Academy, Louisiana Medal of Excellence, Several Gold Medals in Martial Arts. Career Highlights: President of Mike Klumpp and Associates Sales in Dallas, Texas, Founding Owner of ASB Karate in Texas, Kansas and Kenya, Founding Director of EASEORG East African Service and Empowerment – Mission Agency serving East Africa from our offices in Nairobi, Author of Single Dad’s Survival Guide, Founded the Marstellar Bray Arts Center in Dighton, Kansas, City Council Person and Economic Developer for Dighton, Kansas and Lane County, Resident Artistic Director of the Uvalde Grand Opera House, Lead Teacher High School English and Bible at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas, Teaching “Matthew” Dallas Theological Seminary Lay Institute, Team Teaching Dallas Theological Seminary “Effective Pulpit Delivery” with Doctor Reg Grant and Doctor John Reed, Performing and Writing for Howard Hendricks at Dallas Theological Seminary and the Center for Christian Leadership, Building a Hospital and Bringing Electicity to the community of Lemoru in the Ziwa Disctict of Central Kenya, Pastoring Churches in Dallas, Texas, Dighton, Kansas and Hong Kong.

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