Hillary Keel: From My Study in Vienna (Seitenberggasse), 2008

Fall '12 TOC

Freewheelin'
goes walkin'
through NYC
village street
through grey snow
in boots and jeans
Suze at his
side, she huddles
up to him, her
arms wrapped
around his, this
is 1962
VW bus and
brick fire escaped
buildings, in jeans
leather jacket's
only buttoned at the top
as if in a hurry –
no time and
who cares?
 
This is scraggly
Bob, from East
to West, the corner
of Jones and
positively 4th
Suze's white tooth
smile, his shiver, a
shrug hunching
downward
 
Dylan
frozen like this
by Hunstein's
CBS camera – an
American icon
from a time
out of mind
with hard rain
and wind blowing, don't
think twice –
the old cover's
worn, where
the record
rubbed a perfect
circle through
cardboard, visible
now as if the two
are walking
through a
tunnel or
may step
and enter my
Viennese study
 
An object  
once belonging
in my brother's
room, where he taught
authors like Kerouac
and Christopher Marlowe, he
taught Dylan, Joplin, green
tea and high church
psychedelics, he
was NYC, Japan, Mainline
and upstate Albany
 
The object removed
after my brother's horrific
undoing – after acid
parties and neglect
from dad's Korean
PTSD and how they
demonized
passion
 
(Much later in
Vienna, I thought
this demonizing!
—that's what
did him in.)
 
Freewheelin' had been there
with my brother and
the rest
but I found it years
later in a crate in my
parents' attic –
while on a visit there in 1986 –
I pulled it out
packed it in a suitcase
to bring him with
me across the ocean: I
had to run for my
life
had to learn the
hard way
to be
my own
freewheeler.
Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
© 2012 Naropa University