“I Chased The Night” by Dan Devlen

I chased the Night.
For a lifetime, I chased It, frolicking like a puppy.
And I caught It, over and over again.
It enveloped me, and I thrashed about in It.

Dark Night, ubiquitous and sticky
With friends and lovers emerging and fading like shadows.
Pockets as empty as my heart
And my wandering mind, bent on party success.

From Camaro’s backseats, amongst the gravestones, the Night crept.
Cassettes and conversations stabbing
Beams of wonder and recognition through Its darkness
Tapping my shoulder, hustling me forward, it was the Night of

Batman and Jim Morrison. Dangerous and deliberate.
And It was everywhere, but contained, within my sphere.
From radio towers on western hills
To pull-offs named “3:30”, Sears, Sovocool Hill, and Stevens Road.

I caught It, held It, caressed It. At times, deadly.
My hands about Its throat, a gritty laugh.
Controlled and cherished until It escaped
Ethereal, through my taunt, clutching fingers, into morning respite.

Flag-draped dope lights muted fishbowl cockpits
As strangers, awash and warped, tripped passed reflective barriers
While I melted under the influence, laughing past control.
Like Jello in the driver’s seat, me and the Night, having a ball.

Intersections blown through in rushing to buzzes
Speakers clipping to evening mixes entitled
“Backyard Boogie”, and “Another Saturday Night”
To float in morning puddles of beer and ash.

The Night was everything, alive and vivacious
Beckoning each evening to introduce new extremes
From driveway discoveries of “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”,
To State Land roll-overs and pitch-black walks home.

Black, shimmering Night. Streaking lights.
Fog and optical trickery with chemical-aided thrills, ooos, and ahs.
And once, a borealis, green, full, and brilliant
Parents and Grandparents dragged out as witnesses

I pummeled the Night
But like a punch-drunk Palucka
It answered the bell at each dusk,
Ready to give and take again.

And when we moved, the Night came with us
Then, comforting, in gas-fueled loud and bright concrete canyons
Walking in history, laughing, learning, and immersed
Night hung with me, and I still rocked It.

And across the country, I often stood and watched Night fall
As It crushed out the sun into an opaque Pacific
Well past the edge of the western world.
On sandy beaches, or star-walk Hollywood ramblings, I loved the Night

Tripping through concerts. Hiding from police.
Wandering with my partner but never lost.
Like a whore in love with her own reflection
Night welcomed us back east and home.

The life, the job, the ‘ham, the base.
Twins at our feet
Bottle in hand. How many drinks? All of them.
The Night was out there, but increasingly irrelevant.

The celebration of Night slipped away
Even as I toasted It each evening.
Duty-bound to death
I stood apart from my lifelong companion.

Now, I see it. Out the window. Out there.
But I don’t live It.
A pointing clock is all I see.
Does Night miss me?

I miss It. Like an old mentor, It has slipped away.
Back road parties. Lucky escapes. Even faces peeled from telephone poles.
Too many friends, but not me
All dead and back in the Night.

I enjoy It’s quiet now.
It’s morning glow
It’s work-a-day welcome.
I catch Its tail-end, alive and ready

But does It wait?
Will it beckon BonScot and Lily? Excite? Console? Tease?
Same Night? New warriors?
Will they find It, in a battle to live?

Is Night still alive? (Please, not my kids.)
More then time spent?
Are You out there?
The same Night?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s