April 8, 2009

And what is invisible stays that way

Found a beautiful poem this morning - The Next Time by Mark Strand, from his Pulitzer Prize winning book of poems, Blizzard Of One. You should go read the poem in its entirety but here are a few excerpts I really loved.
Time slips by; our sorrows do not turn into poems,
And what is invisible stays that way. Desire has fled,

Leaving only a trace of perfume in its wake,
And so many people we loved have gone,

And no voice comes from outer space, from the folds
Of dust and carpets of wind to tell us that this

Is the way it was meant to happen, that if only we knew
How long the ruins would last we would never complain.
Waking up from long dreams and short conversations with my dad, I find myself this morning in the throes of existential angst! Plus having seen The Motorcycle Diaries last night and having gone to bed wishing I could make my April Fool's bluff* a reality, these lines comes like a subliminal message!
Perfection is out of the question for people like us,
So why plug away at the same old self when the landscape

Has opened its arms and given us marvelous shrines
To flock towards?


Life should be more

Than the body’s weight working itself from room to room.
A turn through the forest will do us good ....
* My April 1st bluff was to put the following status update on Facebook.

...  has decided to quit this stupid job-search, live off my savings, ride time out till the economy recovers, and take a long 3 month trip to South America.
And so it goes....
It could have been another story, the one that was meant
Instead of the one that happened. Living like this,
           ... What else would there be
This late in the day for us but desire to make amends
And start again, the sun’s compassion as it disappears.
Actually, leave you with another short poem by Mark Strand, reproduced here in its entirety. This one really vibed with the aforementioned existential angst I am feeling.
Keeping Things Whole

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.
Keeping things whole - the essence and struggle of life, no? Or as Che put it in the movie yesterday:
"You gotta fight for every breath and tell death to go to hell."
Update: Just saw this article in Time magazine. Despite it being said to be medicine for the soul" and a healer of body and mind, somehow I have a feeling that this won't be part of my South America experience, if and when I get there! For some, the travel itself provides the high! Though strangely, this does sound alluring, no? :)
The agony is part of the allure. "You get these near-death experiences. And once you see life from the perspective of death, you become a bit more philosophical and have a better sense of what's important and what's not."

No comments:

At the school dances white and black girls shook on the floor, by Anais Duplan

Today, a poem  by  Anaïs Duplan,  from the Bennington Review. [AT THE SCHOOL DANCES WHITE AND BLACK GIRLS SHOOK ON THE FLOOR.]  ...