Fresh Air From The Age

“I see a harbor filled with masts and sails, wearied by the sea wind that wearies me.”

Archive for November, 2007

Tired Dance With Moon.

A few nights ago, lost in a moment spent caressing a cigarette as though it were an old friend, I saw the moon dressed in its very curious, very memorable tired orange dress. It seemed bigger then and the lake’s ripples glistened and danced the same color with the help of a western wind. Someone once told me it appeared orange because of the angle in which it was rising through trapped greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It was full and shone as the night’s spotlight. It would have complimented an aging arthritic dancer shuffling around on the dilapidated stage of a crumbling opera house. Well, there, alone in a backyard like any other, in a situation as bland and common as it was, I felt I was the dancer. I closed my eyes, wanting to see the sky’s aged spotlight through eyelids and heard a tune then. I heard a piano seemingly very far away, as though from the bottom of a well. A beautiful piece, simplistic yet heartfelt, played for an invisible audience. I danced on the stage the moon’s spotlight shone upon. I felt hundreds of years older then, my joints stiff and my limbs heavy– I danced. The air in my lungs became old and stale, the scents of wood swollen with water and rotting cloth invaded my nose. I saw a stage all around me, its floorboards creaking complaints, and the tattered curtains shifting to and fro slightly by an unfelt breeze. Seats in front of me, hundreds and hundreds, arranged in broken aisles. To my sides were water-stained balconies. The piano’s private rhetoric scaled the walls with exponential strength. My pace quickened and my steps grew lighter. I danced with the sounds with my eyes closed, trying to savor our wonderful conversation– the piano sang and I replied with my sway. The spotlight then seemed to grow stronger through my eyelids, almost blinding. The floorboards underneath me no longer complained, and the musty smells subsided. I dared not open my eyes. Chills came then. Chills like I’d never before felt. I felt so light, almost to the point where my feet weren’t touching the ground. That piano’s song laughed along with me, escalating to an almost deafening pitch. What ecstasy came then. The song– like an old friend’s laughter, like a mother’s consolation, like a teacher’s wise words, like a supersonic rush of wind hurried through one’s ears, one’s nose, over one’s lips. I fell then and loved. Simply loved. The rush subsided, I saw the spotlight fade to its original tired orange under heavy eyelids and that noble, now fabled song faded as well. I opened my eyes and there I was, in a backyard like any other, in a situation bland and common, and saw that the moon had changed slightly. It was smaller and its face had turned pale and familiar. The western wind had subsided briefly and so had the lake’s ripples. The moon still shone, though, and I saw on the lake’s surface an explosion comparable only to fireworks lasting minutes, not seconds. With this explosion and her appearance preceding it the moon seemed to tell us all that her dress was not caused by greenhouse gases but instead as a manifestation of Beauty.

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Hymn To Beauty

From heaven or hell, O Beauty, come you hence ?
Out from your gaze, infernal and divine,
Pours blended evil and beneficence,
And therefore men have likened you to wine.

Sunset and dawn within your eyes are fair;
Stormlike you scatter ferfume into space;
Your kiss, a philtre from an amphora rare,
Charms boys to courage andmakes heroes base.

Whence come you, from what spheres, or inky deeps,
With careless hand joy and distress to strew?
Fate, like a dog at heel, behind you creeps;
You govern all things here, and naught you rue.

You wald upon the dead with scornful glances,
Among your gems Horror is not least fair;
Murder, the dearest of your baubles, dances
Upon your haughty breast with amorous air.

Mothlike around your flame the transient, turning,
Crackles and flames and cries, “Ah, heavenly doom !”
The quivering lover o’er his mistress yearning
Is but a dying man who woos his tomb.

From heaven or the abyss? Let questioning be,
O artlesss monster wreaking endless pain,
So that your smile and glance throw wide to me
An infinite that I have loved in vain.

From Satan or from God ? Holy or vile ?
Let questioning rest. O soft-eyed sprite, my queen,
O rhythm, perfume, light — so you bequile
Time from his slothfulness, the world from spleen.

I say dance.

I close my eyes and I see a room, seeming exponentially bigger because of the darkness, the music, the smoke and lights. I look up and I see lasers dancing with me in the smoke. I feel bodies moving against and with mine. I see bodies lit up with led lights hurling themselves to and fro– twisting and twirling to the sounds. I see drinks with light-up ice cubes, led lights everywhere.

At the front of the room I see a single person in front of an instrument panel that reminds me of an airplane’s cockpit. His arms reach out in the dark and he spins black vinyl discs in the air. He makes the sounds– a DJ on any other night, but tonight he is a Mayan king, hailing power and promises of fun to the massive crowd below him. His voice is his siren, his rhetoric his music.

Where am I? I twist and jam and dance with the obedient crowd, glad to be in the DJ’s grasp. Bodies meet and words don’t matter. Eyes meet and thoughts don’t matter. Dance and dance and dance.

We Miss Travel.

We used to be nomadic. Domestication of animals and plants stopped that. You know, I don’t think it was just the animals and plants that were domesticated. Animals in the sense of cows, sheep, etc. I wish civilization could exist without domestication but it’s kinda impossible.

I just want to travel– constantly. Some say that after some time away from home you start to miss your bed, your kitchen, and even your job. Man, I think I could spend months and months and years away from this place without missing it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great here. My parents are people other kids envy, my home is beautiful and so is my school and my work. Just something new.

There was a little weekend getaway to the Keys about a month ago for Fantasy Fest. I was going with her and her roommates. I read Hemingway the week before going and I wrote something beautiful the night before. I had such an amazing time– and it wasn’t just the people or the parades, I would have enjoyed it alone. The Florida Keys for fucksake– the backyard. Imagine what would happen in Spain, the Netherlands, the UK– man.

I say soar.

“If suffer we must, let’s suffer on the heights,” said Victor Hugo.

Coupled skydiving, singles base jumping, singles sky diving and maybe bungee jumping. In that order. Hand gliding somewhere in there too. This time next year.

Unless I wake up tomorrow in some skewed Kafka fantasy in which I grew wings overnight. I say a fall is soaring anyway. I need to soar.

There were hash dreams some time ago– falling and not landing. It wasn’t scary or depressing. Other dreams on a pier– running like I never could. My lungs didn’t strain or falter, my steps growing quicker and lighter. The step onto the railing would be like any other and the jump from it seemed beyond my legs’ ability. A second of bliss, just a second, and then a seamless transition into the water, which is a green crystalline body. The sand at the bottom reflecting the sun’s rays at the top. Sea turtles drift by.

Just Someplace

Right now, at 10pm on a Thursday night, I wanna leave this computer, grab that backpack that on the chair next to me and fill it with all the books lying around that I haven’t read yet and the ones I have and can’t forget. I wanna fish that black duffel bag out of the closet and fill it with as much clothing as possible and get in my car and drive to Miami International. I’d leave it in the long-term lot, smoke a cigarette on my way inside, and instantly get on a plane to Havana, Madrid, Ibiza, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Fiji, Kingston, London, Dublin– just someplace.

Last night, I opened to a random page of Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and the first sentence I saw was, “What Are You Doing Here? Who Are You? And I don’t know what I am doing there now who I am.”

I just wanna take all those books and go someplace and read them. On a beach in Ibiza, or a cramped studio apartment in Havana, a brothel in Bangkok, a hash bar in Amsterdam– just someplace.

e.e. cummings and me, not I, me.

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words. This may sound easy. It isn’t. A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking. Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or believe you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.

To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time — and whenever we do it, we’re not poets.

If at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed. And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world — unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die. Does this sound dismal? It isn’t. It’s the most wonderful life on earth. Or so I feel.