Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dumbwaiter spirit

In the rush, dishes pile up.
A smiling woman who may be missing a tooth furrows her brow in the eagerness to please as I am jammed full of dirty porcelain and slobbery table scraps.
The world is hungry
and my poor mechanisms cannot keep up with its gluttony.
I am as full and as heavy as the room where intelligence could not mask anger--
heaping plates of history and names my palate has not adjusted to
taste like salt and slime and rust--
I cannot swallow it all.
Pakistan Afghanistan India America Britain
Blame Blame Blame
Hate Hate Hate
A small voice goes unanswered:
"WHat can we do? Is there hope?"
The silent response is the heaviest dish of all.

It is getting hotter in here,
someone has turned on the sun.
I peel off hazy flakes of skin,
the guilt for taking a dirty dish and polishing it with pretty words.
Dramatic Pose: "I haven't suffered enough!"
Even success weighs on me.

And so I wait.
"What for?" Gogo asks.
But I am dumb.
I have no name to speak and console his anxious, hungry, tired self.
I wait
for an invisible hand to pull my straining ropes,
and lower me to a depth I have not been before
that I may be relieved
and the dishes cleaned
So both are fit to serve again.

Wisdom from Chekhov

"Always remember that the writers whom we call eternal, or even just the good ones who intoxicate us, they all have one highly important trait in common: they are moving toward something, and they beckon you to follow, and you feel--not only with you mind, but with your entire being--that they have some purpose, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, who did not come to disturb the imagination without reason...The best of them are real and write of life just as it is, but because each line is filled with the awareness of this purpose, you feel more than life as it is--you also feel life as it should be, and this captivates you."

May 7, 2009

It is right to water gardens while forests burn.
What more appropriate response is there
but to shake hands with strangers
and puff puff puff to join the growing cloud overhead
until friends.

Strange to see people stop.
Lawn chairs on sidewalks,
camera phones at intersections--
This is not Icarus falling unnoticed in the corner of a painting,
this is sublime.

It calls for stuffed backpacks, like disguised treasure chests,
ten minutes to realize everything that you could live without,
two-dollar strawberries on frozen yogurt,
futons and friends
who raise with thankful hands
the pizza crust,
the wine in the plastic cup.
"This is celebrating." we agree,
while behind us ash falls
and flowers suck up supergrow.