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@acouch
Last active Aug 19, 2020
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we all travel through the story of robert couch
we all travel through the sound of his voice
the sound of him saying grits
not just what he meant when he said grits
but his look of disgust when at a diner in hartford in 1989
it was served to him like oatmeal
we all travel through the story of robert which is the story of bobby
the story of his mom serving him grits
in mississippi in 1956
the formal plates they used, her watchful eye
the sound of the porcelain touching the table
the smell of the butter, of the molasses, of their home
the story of robert is a collision of stories
it is the story of his cousin larry
how they would crawl underneath the farmhouse
to listen to the adults overhead
to be alone together
this is the story of how larry was more sociable than bobby
more easy going
it is the story of how they leaned on each other
of how they were friends
it is the story of one evening
under the house
when a chicken crawled up on larry’s lap and laid an egg
it is the look of embarrassment on larry’s face
it is the sound of robert telling the story
in philadelphia in 2019
how he liked to tell stories about larry
it is the story of his laugh
his sugary voice
the way his stories made a space
that you could almost crawl inside of
we all travel through the story of larry
of how people were drawn to him
of how the chicken had chosen him
of how he died at 16
we all journey through the story of my dad
arriving by bus to a studio in new mexico two days late
because the first bus had broken down in texas
arriving by bus from auburn to join the protests in selma in 1965
arriving by bus to cambridge
not sure if susan would be there to pick him up
it is the story of the sight of her waving to him through a window
in late september of 1973
we all travel through fishing at green lane reservoir
robert rousing my brother and I before dawn
buying worms at a small store near the lake
how alex and I stood by the counter
how dad always knew what to say
of opening the styrofoam container
of the earth mixed with the wriggling forms
of how to hook them just right
we all travel through the thrill the of the bobber bouncing in the water
of his guiding hand
the story of robert is the story of an argument in high school
of stomping upstairs
of slamming a door
it is the story of being angry
of being misunderstood
stories are all so simple
the archetypes of narrative
words and punctuation
music is just a bunch of notes
clever choices and timing
repeated vibration
the story of robert is the story of everything we want to know
like the concept of the universe
an idea we tell ourselves
but don't fully understand
we can still travel through the story of robert
pointing up at orion’s belt
pointing to the little dipper
pointing to the dog star
the story of the light traveling across the galaxy
the photons choosing our eyes
we can still travel through the story of robert couch
but to tell the story is to break the spell
is to stop the music
is to be dishonest
is to acknowledge art
is the lie of naming any one point in time
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