Friday, August 28, 2009

Walking Around




















Our dog was named after this poet but random people at the park ask me if he was named after the coffee. The philistines! Not the poet, nor the artist, but the instant coffee. And what bad instant coffee it was (NESCAFÉ Espresso is heaps better)

Even though this poem is about being a man (and they have it EASY, yes they do), it transcends all that. When it says 'the smell of barber shops makes me sob out loud' I know that feeling without getting a short back and sides or whatever it is that men do in barber shops

Anyway, I think it is a lovely lovely poem



It happens that I am tired of being a man.
It happens that I go into the tailor's shops and the movies
all shrivelled up, impenetrable, like a felt swan
navigating on a water of origin and ash.

The smell of barber shops makes me sob out loud.
I want nothing but the repose either of stone or of wool.
I want to see no more establishments, no more gardens,
nor merchandise, nor glasses, nor elevators.

It happens that I am tired of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It happens that I am tired of being a man.

Just the same it would be delicious
to scare a notary with a cut lily
or knock a nun stone dead with one blow of an ear.

It would be beautiful
to go through the streets with a green knife
shouting until I died of cold.

I do not want to go on being a root in the dark,
hesitating, stretched out, shivering with dreams,
downwards, in the wet tripe of the earth,
soaking it up and thinking, eating every day.

I do not want to be the inheritor of so many misfortunes.
I do not want to continue as a root and as a tomb,
as a solitary tunnel, as a cellar full of corpses,
stiff with cold, dying with pain.

For this reason Monday burns like oil
at the sight of me arriving with my jail-face,
and it howls in passing like a wounded wheel,
and its footsteps towards nightfall are filled with hot blood.

And it shoves me along to certain corners, to certain damp houses,
to hospitals where the bones come out of the windows,
to certain cobbler's shops smelling of vinegar,
to streets horrendous as crevices.

There are birds the colour of sulphur, and horrible intestines
hanging from the doors of the houses which I hate,
there are forgotten sets of teeth in a coffee-pot,
there are mirrors
which should have wept with shame and horror,
there are umbrellas all over the place, and poisons, and navels.

I stride along with calm, with eyes, with shoes,
with fury, with forgetfuless,
I pass, I cross offices and stores full of orthopaedic appliances,
and courtyards hung with clothes on wires,
underpants, towels and shirts which weep
slow dirty tears.

17 comments:

squib said...

Why does it say Thursday?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Beats me Squib, but it's a cracker of a poem.

Melba said...

Oh that's a nice one, squib. Thank you. I think it might say Thursday if you saved it to drafts yesterday. Even if you published it today, it hangs on to the old date. Go into it again, go to "edit post", go down the bottom and make the day/date today's.

I think you'll find that's the problem.

Lewd Bob said...

I wonder if that was written as prose, without the poetic structure, would be just as effective?

squib said...

I can't find the date. Can someone else fix it?

Lewd Bob said...

Squib, you can only edit your own. Go to 'edit post' and then 'post options'.

squib said...

Right, got it, thanks

Fad MD said...

Any poem that advocates beating nuns to death gets two thumbs up from me.

squib said...

See? It's got something for everybody

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I didn't think Pablo coffee was even around any more.

Must be a western states thing.

squib said...

It's not around anymore but the glorious memory of it lingers on

Lewd Bob said...

Was Pablo Neruda ever called an arsehole?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Yes.

eat my shorts said...

It happens that I am tired of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It happens that I am tired of being a man.

Just the same it would be delicious
to scare a notary with a cut lily
or knock a nun stone dead with one blow of an ear.

It would be beautiful
to go through the streets with a green knife
shouting until I died of cold.


Aside from the "being a man" bit, it sounds just like PMS to me.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Remind me not to be around you when you're pre-menstrual, EMS.

eat my shorts said...

Ramon: don't be around EMS when she has PMS.

Consider yourself reminded.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Ta, EMS.