the neon streets are burning bright
in the city
i’m running out of time
it’s like living on the face of the sun
i trip from step to step
like a cat on a hot tin roof
as if the sidewalks are on fire

i’ve been here too long
i’m sure you won’t mind
if i roll up my bag and move on
i’m no longer fresh or a novelty
i know the vibe when a welcome is worn
the streets get mean
when you transition from traveler to homeless
from god to leach in one easy step
it’s a fast set of stairs to the bottom from the top
best to manage your image
and stick to the script
‘out before winter’ so you don’t end up sleeping in a shelter
where the knives are out
and the lost souls scream all night
amid the stink and bedbugs

hanging around the cafe’s and bars like a binary star
i begin to lose the essence and wonder of who i am
the demands of the maddening crowd
the same stories over again
sap my creativity
i begin to need things
as if i had a place in this trap
as if the walls are closing in
i’d collapse and explode
like that heavenly body
that wasn’t meant to last
taking everything with me in a sudden explosion
if i didn’t move along

there’s a dance that we do
on the concrete shoulder of the highway
when the final rig of the night has passed by
off in the distance
far away now the city lights have diminished
the glare is nothing more
than a dimly glowing menace on the horizon

twilight reveals the true face of the sky
my favorite constellations appear at long last
clap and pay homage to the passing of another day
as i dance around
enjoy the circling night
so far removed from civilization
that we’ve become tribal again
loyal only to the road we travel
the straights seem so alien now
as if they’re a separate species

halleluiah i sing
i will sleep out of doors tonight at last
i don’t have to entertain anyone for a bed
or give myself to some wanna be woman
in exchange for hot water
because she thinks you’re just so cool
that she just has to have you
to give her something to talk about with her friends

what tomorrow will bring i don’t care
the gas station attendants on the corner have been kind to me
to allow me to wash up and get ready for bed
i have shared my precious gifts and we’re all high
and they in turn have microwaved my meal
ah, to lay down on the grass and the dew in the ditch
with a cheap bottle of wine
out of sight of the local renegades who ply the highways at night
and have been known to make sport of
a weary traveler

i am sleeping on the bed of a king
inside my castle of dreams
if it rains i’ll move under a bridge
where other travelers have built a fire
even though it may be a long night
sleeping with one eye open
it’s hard to get a ride if you’re soaking wet
and a shitty way to begin a road trip
if you get ripped off
by others less fortunate
not to share the philosophy
of the true routard
so you keep to yourself when you can

i have nothing, i am happy, i am free, unencumbered
there is only undiscovered country ahead
when i get to the next town
i’ll hunker down on the sidewalk
with my magical trinkets displayed around me on a blanket
telling stories and singing songs of the wild places I have been
for the passers by
i’ll beg my daily bread and cigarettes
because i am nothing like any have seen
in these small towns where darkness reigns

sometimes they take me home
good people with no life aside from their drapery of possessions
welcome wandering spirits like myself
to sleep in their garages and garden sheds
the house is not safe
they’re not that trusting
even though they keep telling you how amazing you are
and how they wish they could live just like you
but have no idea how to leave everything behind

come the dawn i will follow the sun backwards
this year i’ve decided to head east and then south
it could be that i will rest a thousand miles away
my occupation as an oddity will fade in time
i feel the pressure as i get older but i resist temptation
there is too much left to see
and life will go on
as i will, until i spin around and face my regrets
the ugliness that shadows my soul
retracing the lines i have written on the backs of mile markers
like hobo script on white picket fences
maybe someday I’ll find a place to call home
it’s too early to make that call

another city, another neighborhood whirling in an orbit
of artifice and conformity
but i remain constant around a credo that i hold dear, but few want to share
who can blame them
those times have past
i live like a honey bee skipping from flower to flower
with no hive to return to
all my efforts in vain
i dance and sing by the side of the highway
i’m lost in the sky and may never come down
king of the road and a penniless fool
this is not what they taught you in school
the road calls out to the aimless
and captures the vacant, the wanting, the lost

i am on a celestial mission that is still a work in progress
to map all the stars i have seen in the heavens
the final plans have not been laid to hang this tapestry
there will be no happy ending
some strange force has me reeling
to spend a lifetime exposed to the elements
without any skill except to wander
called out by a sirens song and never return
i can’t explain this lonesome doctrine that i adhere to
this life on the road

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