Hypomanic Satori Behind the Wheel (James Redfern)

every face ever in time conceived
is now displayed on the bright yellow
leaves on the bright yellow ginko trees
lining both sides of the highway
and as I drive west through gentle
curves the entire sky turns yellow
as a salted wind rushes up the canyon
chasing then pulling off ten thousand
leaves and ten thousand more
taking to the air with a single
breath of breathing ecstasy eternal
yellow skies and black bending road
a silent rush taking over dasein’s
hypomanic satori behind the wheel
the serotonin begins to peak
as the blanket of yellow souls
begins to break apart and disappear
and in all the leaves I see my face
reconfigured and samsaraed around
playing hide-and-seek with Ganesha,
the Walrus, the World Soul, and you and me,
all of us, a parade of wasted homunculi
every face on every leaf is different
yet all of them are mine
and, just that quickly, the leaves
split apart and scatter revealing
a brilliant blue sky behind
before drifting forever downward
reminding Icarus of gravity


James Redfern was born and raised in Long Beach, California. Redfern is a graduate of Grinnell College. His work has been published by The American Journal of Poetry, Transcend, Dime Show Review, Swimming with Elephants, Montana Mouthful, Anti-Heroin Chic (forthcoming), Great Lakes Poetry Press, Fear and Loathing in Long Beach, and elsewhere. He is the author of several novels (most recently HECATOMB) and several volumes of poetry (most recently Catfish in a Bowl Redux).