Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Poet Lies

The poet concocted a masterpiece today
In which the trees whispered their secrets and the lady on the side of the road had a melancholy air brought on only by memories hurled at her by the rapidity of the cars whizzing by
Gogol was referenced
And the sun became a massive breast
As I read gasping for breath and slapped in the face with chaotic meaning
Orchids whispered out their final wishes and the world began to melt away
Becoming something new
An orgy of colors and destinations
And the map became a blob
And through it all I wanted to engulf myself in this book of sonnets
In that book of free verses
And all the stanzas cried out to me to look at them
To become them
“One more”
Read aloud
Only once more
although I had work the next day and should go to sleep
I was already dreaming
And with a new map with which to guide myself with I visited all the places referenced in the poems that I possibly could
And dreamt of the ones I couldn’t

And that’s when it slapped me in the face
The orchids were dying against the backdrop of smog
And the homeless lady had no hidden story that I could discern as she pissed on the side of the road
And Gogol couldn’t find me
The poet lied
And I damn myself for ever questioning him

I Take a Drag

Sitting disheveled on her bed with bags under her eyes
Holding a cigarette awkwardly between her first and middle finger of her right hand
Chipped red paint on her nails, another failed attempt at composure
She inhales
Blows out
And it is then that I know this isn’t a usual task for her
I pretend to still be asleep lying next to her so as not to disrupt the grey moment between sleep and waking
The morning after…

She swore it wasn’t a big deal
Walked in with a stride and her chin held in the air and told me the secret
Sat down
Let if fester in my brain and form thought waves mechanically produced into feelings, and all the while she looked two inches below my eyes, as if to say she had lost some power in this statement
How I wish she knew that what I wanted to do was sink into her skin because it was the most painful closeness I could imagine

I wondered when this has happened to her, at what point she had changed right before my eyes.
Was it when she was a child and took note of beautiful women striding along with their hair blowing in the wind, elegance exuding a smile?
Was it when she reached adolescence and found something missing from the failed attempts to sit down with a boy and tell him to be her hero?
Or was it as she sat here now, arresting this moment and allowing herself for the first time to enter fully into consciousness?
I wondered
Recollecting then that she was standing in front of me, awaiting a response
I smiled and took her into my arms
And with nothing left to say, we decided to celebrate her honesty.

The rest of the night was full of excitement
We celebrated and had the worst dinner on the planet at a new Thai restaurant that failed numerous times to produce our orders, leaving us with no other option but to laugh
Walked down a couple blocks to the only Mexican place in town where canned beans are served and tomato sauce is mistaken for “salsa”
But they have good margaritas
Upon the completion at our attempts at a meal we walked the four blocks home from Observatory to Mowbray, a dangerous stretch
As if to say we were forces to be reckoned with
The night slowed down and we ended up asleep on her bed
More of a flop actually, didn’t even bother to pull the covers over our heads

I open my eyes and notice the rays of sunlight making their way from the window to her face
Illuminating the fact that she is in deep thought
pursing her lips, eyebrows furrowed
and she lets out that sigh
The kind that begins in the pit of your stomach when something needs to be released that is beyond words
She takes another drag of the cigarette, doing such a bad job that I wonder how she isn’t choking
We make eye contact
And in that moment it’s as if we know
When we open those blinds things will be different
The world will be somehow changed
I look at her youthful face sending me a message through her solemn dark brown eyes hiding themselves behind the cloud of a tear after a yawn

I take a drag

What the World Feels

Sometimes I write poetry that enumerates the trickle of rain drops
off a luscious moss covered trunk
That I have never seen
But can feel like the gust of cold air penetrating the pores on my cheeks
And for that one special moment I think I can feel generations crying,
hoping to go back to it
And sometimes I feel the warm yellows and oranges circling tender skin around my legs and dancing around what I have come to call as my body
Squinting my eyes because it won’t allow me to see its full beauty,
its immense rage
And as the grass tickles extremities which I have come to call as my toes and fingers
I realize that I have come to a place that has nothing to do with me
And all to do with the world
Wishing then that I could be bigger than I am
To take up the full burden of nature
To hear its cries as it dies and suffocates from sharp knives slitting lungs,
never to return
And it is then that I know the pain of scientists
Wishing to extrapolate a truth that is too hard to stomach
Of the world dying because someone once told us we were the most powerful
And the flies circle around,
trying to find a place to rest
And the sun suddenly hurts
And begs for mercy
And it is then that I wish I could tell the branches, and the clouds, and the atmosphere,
the yet living
That I am sorry
But all I am left with is poetry that enumerates the trickle of rain drops off a luscious moss covered trunk that I have never seen
And a tear that fixes nothing
But serves merely as a small pathetic portion
Of what the world feels

A sentence

I know I’m a bad writer. I’m sorry. I wish I could say I can make the petals of a rose come alive by way of my imagery. I wish I could say I take travelers on remarkable quests full of illusion, hope, and realization only to come back to a complexified equilibrium.
I can’t.
I can’t make the sky look anything other than blue or the trees seem in any way more significant. When my pen hits the pure white paper with a force that rapes, no beauty comes out, no struggle, no pain. I look down on it and realize I’ve said nothing. I’ve shown nothing.

But there’s always that sentence.

That one sentence that taunts me because it shows me that for a moment in time I have beauty. It comes in encompassing everything that is me, showing me its elusiveness by way of a breeze meeting my cheek and entering it by way of diffusion. Down to my heart, out through my fingers. Telling me then that it’s gone.
NO more.
Was it ever there? Does it even matter? That sentence you see, that one beautiful sentence that swallowed the very air that I breathe, wasn’t me. It was never me. I claimed to own it for that fraction of a second but it left without so much as a goodbye because it was telling me something. It was telling me I was speaking from a place not within me but all around me. I was a hand, a curvature of the fingers,
A word.
I wasn’t its creator. It created me.


You’re standing in the kitchen, now
slicing open an onion
While the pot sizzles out a cry of anticipation
and the window is open, letting in sunshine that illuminates the atmosphere of the kitchen;
Your hands, meticulously cutting, quickly but ever precisely on the chopping board

I’m sitting on the kitchen table, looking at you
much as I do most evenings that I am home
but there’s something about tonight that is different.

Perhaps it’s the way you’re cutting up that onion
I think it’s the first time in a while I really take to noticing your hands
They’re manicured and lightly polished but what strikes me is the wrinkles
veins protruding, as if they want to escape the frailty of your body
The sunshine is showing me the bald spot on the top of your head
and the smile wrinkles on your face
Your foot in a medical boot, because it gives you trouble now

A tear makes its way to the bottom corner of my eyelid
and with the excuse that I want to help you cook I get up, place my head on your chest, listen to your heartbeat, and close my eyes
It sounds the same, at least I think it does, from the number of times I have done this before
I ligt tip, pissh, tip, with she occasional ssssh background sound of your heart murmur
But the skin of your chest on the outer corners of my ear feels different somehow, this time
It is as if your body knows what I am thinking
I let out a tear and wipe it away just as quickly so you won’t notice
And as the last remnants of the sun make their way into our kitchen
We stand, chopping onions together
Like you taught me.