Saturday, July 23, 2005

What I read tonight....

For those of you who missed it, here's what I read at the open-mike.

Let's not call it poetry. Let's call it prose with no plot and no character development. Works for me.

Living Well, or the Best Revenge

Revenge is a dish best left to the vultures

Their keen eyes glittering

as they swoop down upon the glint of gold fillings

in the August sunlight.

Bitterness is not for the young,

Or the wise,

The hopeless,

Or the desperate,

But rather for the dead – the zombies, the inferi, the impostors

Who are not living

But merely reciting lines

As actors pacing backstage before their cues.

They exercise dead vocal chords with all the fury

Of a life lived in vain

And a death left in soulful agony.

We have a poor memory for pinpricks and bruises,

But a fine recollection of heartache,

And a keen remembrance of betrayal.

I remember those balled-up heart pieces that lay on your bedroom floor

Like newspapers,

The headlines as surreal as the dream of another fabled Sunday morning

In your ruffled bed with no sheets.




And I remember not the pain of organ failure,

Not the wrenching torture of your words,

And not the horror, or the panic.

Instead I feel that stubborn heart,

That beats still,

In pieces,

As the vultures circle overhead.

Death in Paris

Paris…such a sad, sweet summer in Paris.

On a day when the sun beat down through the plane trees

and the cafés played their jazz on the sidewalks

comme toujours.

Such a hot August day

When I was just old enough to enjoy espresso,

And still young enough to think I knew good wine when I drank it.

Such a sad, strange day in the cemetery at Père Lachaise,

When I knelt down in front of Jim Morrison’s grave

(Though perhaps his bones lie elsewhere).

The gendarme flashed me a warning

with his strange, slow eyes and laid a hand

protectively on his loaded gun.

“NON!” he announced as I bent to pick up a subway ticket

that lay amidst a sea of objects on the tomb –

plastic flowers, and buttons, and chewing gum wrappers, and condoms.

The last one puzzled me, for Jim was far beyond sex

And into the realm of the soul,

And had been for years before I was even born.

For a moment those brown eyes of his

Flashed in my mind,

And for a split second, I understood.

I felt that racing of heart and mind,

That creative bloom –

And then the trickling poison

That closed it up forever.

I understood that desperate desire

for the calm of the morning,

the normalcy of other people,

and yet the knowledge that we would always be,

somehow, a little different.

Death followed me downtown

With such indifferent eyes,

And I lost another friend that hot, dark day.

This time it was to that mythical yet-all-too-real consumption,

The tuberculosis of Chopin, and Lawrence, and Keats, and Poe,

and so many of the Brontes.

And I remembered her, my friend,

Who had lifted me up as a chold

And left me a little doll

Who never did grow up for her.

I went into that tiny church,

One of the most sublime I saw in France,

If only because she was with me.

It smelled heavily of lilies

and unmistakably of Old Europe,

and while I could not pray for her

I lit a candle in thanks.

It was a small bit of gratitude

for two short and brilliant lives,

extinguished so quickly,

yet leaving such lasting imprints on my mind.

Conference of Moonlight

The night I climb into your arms

Like moonlight through your window

will be the moment all time meets

a conference dark and thorough

The time that passed

the past that didn't

will question through and through

the future that I long for

a future thin without you.

For my dreams are like pieces

of the puzzle in my mind

but it is an image faltering

if you I leave behind.


I still dream of that beach

leading to the island where you were married

an endless stretch of rippled sand

a stream with birds

that called across the rocks

where I wrote the words to tell you

that you have left your mark

helped me to grow in thin soil

like the thorny branches of that island

helped me to understand that I controlled

the bird, that lay wounded in my hands

helped me to remember that

it's all up to me.

The waves that broke unflinchingly

on the rocks

the water that stretched to Japan

the sudden realisation

that we could live outside

boundaries, beyond walls and restrictions

We could move forward

to a place where only love matters

love of the sunshine

and the sudden rain

the twisted tree and

downy moss

the quivering salmon

shining in the afternoon

and most of all

that soul to understand

that love without consequence

beyond age

beyond life

beyond death

eternal as nature

and boundless

as the sea.

The last one I believe I have posted on here before, but if you haven't read it yet, there it is.

The double-spacing is for the most part accidental. Microsoft Word sucks. And yes, I know the punctuation is poor.

As usual, I welcome commentary.



by Nome at 12:46 AM
2 mews

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