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Burning the Boats to Hesperion

No reason and No rhyme

Burning the Boats to Hesperion

05
Nov17

Traveling

 

 

I

 

All people have a geography.

Even if beggared from anything else,

they exist in space,

and their pattern in it

is wholly their own.

 

We all have a topology,

although there might be nothing to distinguish us,

although we may be silent in history,

our paths exist,

despite being known only to ourselves,

 

Today I make this pronouncement

That all paths of men  are to be studied.

That all geographies are important,

and I suggest here,

for the very first time.

the hypothetical existence

Never seen because never studied

Of a man’s trek that,

If absent of history,

exults in topography.

 

Routines made of subways, trains and trams crossing lines in the skin of the city,

mandalas built of boozy nights spent bar hopping,

sigils born from trips to the drugstore in the corner,

and cosmogonies explained by holidays at the beach.

 

 

II

 

 

Yesterday I dreamt of a girl I loved at eleven.

And in the dream I saw her, now.

Older, thinner … a little gaunt,

But still beautiful.

Immense brown eyes

   attentive,

   restless,

   and tense.

 

And I,

I loved her with the intensity of a eleven year old.

 

I was elated by this gift of feeling love like the first,

for a second time.

 

I found her in a small town

In the dream

And

After she disappeared saying very little,

I knew that that was where I would live forever.

 

Then I dreamt about her friends,

       the town,

            and how to stay there.

 

In the dream they asked me if I,

       really,

              wanted to stay in the town.

Which was

In fact

So small.

 

And I said

 

 “Yes.

She’s the love of my life.”

 

III

 

There’s a concept called “path dependence”, that says that your current decisions are determined by latter ones.

That all that happens results from what you did, no matter how remote,

and that the past is the solution to the present.

 

In this world there are no master plans,

no strategic visions,

guiding lines,

No.

 

In this way of seeing, all that there is, is, because of previous actions.

No other truth but the path,

steps taken,

nothing else.

 

In this vision the route is all.

It’s the cause and the explanation,

the need and the answer.

 

And maybe it’s for this that all geographies are important.

Because there’s no teleonomy

teleology,

escathology,

to illuminate the path that is us.

 

And here we stand,

In our own timelines

frail and complete,

Only in them, ontology

Only in them, aesthetics,

Only in them, the hope of redemption.

 

And for all this,

And because of this,

 

a man,

at 44,

can dream about the beginning of his life,

and wake up the next morning,

happy,

with a heart full of songs.

 

04
Nov17

Playground

jerome-myers-the-playground-1907.jpg

 

 

 

I think it was raining and I think it was cold.

No. It couldn’t be raining because they wouldn’t let us outside.

But it had rained, and our playground was all sand and mud.

And it was grey.

Yeah, I remember that.

 

I was in the third grade and Miguel Portela was the school's biggest bully.

Not because he was the strongest or the hardest,

but because he was the meanest.

 

He beat me up once

throwing me, repeatedly, to the ground.

I would get back up and charge him,

crying and enraged,

but he would just throw me again laughing.

-”Come at me again, “Angry”, see if you can take me this time.”

To this day I remember the feeling of helplessness.

 

Months passed.

 

It was a cold, grey afternoon, and the kids were playing soccer during recess.

During the game Miguel got into an argument with someone from the oposing team.

He tried to punch him, but was outclassed.

 

When it stopped

Miguel layed supine on the soccer field,

coated in sand and crying softly.

 

Our playground was like any other.

Filled with movement and hollering of children.

We were left there to scream and vent

for as long as they would keep us outside.

 

But,

something had just happened In that field.

 

As Miguel whined in the dirt

the children encircled him and watched him cry.

 

Something had snapped inside,

he made no attempt to get up or hide his tears,

and layed there in abject defeat.

 

This display of weakness didn’t go unnoticed.

They stood above him,

pleased to see him grovel.

 

When,

finally,

he tried to get up,

someone kicked him down.

 

After the first kick the mood changed.

Now everyone on the soccer field knew they could hurt him.

Shortly after the first, another cracked him in the gut.

The circle got tighter and there was a lull.

 

Slowly they realized that they had something very precious,

which,

they knew,

should be kept from the teachers.

They had the school’s bully squirming on the floor,

being,

at once,

A victim inviting punishment, and a bully, justifying it.

 

They watched him,

prostrated,

sniveling,

eyes closed,

hands opening and closing spasmodically.

 

When he,

again,

tried to get up, someone would put him down.

Sometimes gently, sometimes not,

but always hard enough to keep him where he was.

Laying,

decumbent,

in the wet sand.

 

You could hear the silence in the football field.

And if the teachers were slow to react,

the other kids weren’t.

 

All around the playground, first, second and third graders, started to pick up on the absence and searched for the cause.

Quietly they poured into the field and thickened the circle.

They all had came to see Miguel Portela.

 

Tentatively they renewed kicking him,

now one kid,

now another...

vaguely,

as if unsure of their actions,

hazily,

as if lost in thought.

 

He just whined softly

and cried some more.

 

A stillness crept over the playground as the kids congregated around him.

They stood,

motionless and reverent,

booting him down every time he tried to get up.

 

By then most of the school was in the field.

 

Eventually the silence alerted the teachers that something was wrong.

When they got to the field they saw the circle,

By now, four or five children thick,

encircling Miguel Portela,

as the drizzle, the tears, and the snot coated him with wet sand.

 

It all ended then.

 

Miguel Portela’s parents took him out of the school and we never saw him again.

08
Out17

Dog Days

Eric-Fischl-Artwork.-Image-via-deborahfeller.com--

 

The Party was relentless,

all kinesis and acceleration.

 

It took what it needed,

discarded the rest,

and sucked everything into its esurient maw.

Feeding us all to the crushing beat of psy-trance.

 

Boom, Boom … Boom.

 

I was there to see it born.

“We should do a rave in the abandoned slaughterhouse.”

Said César,

Eyes glinting with the dark anticipation of putting hippies dancing on a charnel house.

We all basked in the glow of seeing the “good-vibrations-vegan, set” slowly waking to the realization of where they were.

We saw it all and found it good.

 

It was Summer by the sea in Alentejo.

Some of us were on holidays, others had jobs on the beach and, most of us, were unemployed.

So we had time.

 

Someone got a generator,

Another a PA system,

Lights were produced from thin air

And in no time we had what we needed for the féte.

No money exchanged hands,

as there was none,

only goodwill and a feeling that fate was active in our endeavour.

 

As so many things,

It started with a whimper.

Two or three of us around the dj table

thrown over the stone where they cleaned the carcasses.

The music evolved from EDM to Death Industrial in less than two hours.

It suited the space,

and mores,

Better.

 

Some people came, looked, and went away.

We let them.

There was no mood to compromise.

Then.

 

The morning after, we were drinking in front of the small fisherman’s houses perched some 40 meters from the slaughterhouse.

César,

and all those  working in the beach,

were living in these cramped white spaces with benches outside.

Where we would sit

and drink

and talk.

 

Someone left a cd running with Brighter Death Now in the PA.

It was around 7 in the morning and they had to go to work.

The day shone belligerently as we talked about the night before.

 

“-I think we should take the PA out of the abattoir.”

“-No! Don’t do that! It’s so fucking cool! We haven’t even done our band photos there!”

“- Yeah, but … I mean, the vibes, man. It’s just too negative.”

“- Yeah … I suppose.”

 

We brought the PA outside and got it ready to blare,

unimpeded,

in the clear, indifferent air of Alentejo.

 

We were far from everything.

The tarmac stopped at the beach.

From there two dirts roads started,

If you’d take the one closer to the sea for some 900 meters,

You would be where we where.

There was only farms, dogs and the perpetually drunk locals that the place vomits in the shape of old men.

 

Oh yes,
We fitted right in.

 

It started with ten people,

Maybe twenty,

But in what seemed like a breath,

there were thirty, forty people there.

I remember sitting  by the fishermen’s houses,

The one’s with the bench,

The one’s where we sat for eons

I remember being there and thinking;

 

-”Ah!”

 

The place was managed by a Irish family.

They were ok in the beginning, but then not so much.

I remember,

vaguely,

threats of telling what was happening to the owner,

somewhere in Ireland,

who was connected to the IRA and wouldn’t be amused.

Apparently César knew him also, and all the phone calls stopped when they couldn’t get decent arbitrage.

So the party continued.

 

One week in, this turned into a local event.

If you were in a 50km radius you probably were there.

 

It was my third day there,

When my girlfriend asked:

-”Do you want another one?”

I looked at the whisky bottle I was nursing,

Not remembering what and for how long I was drinking,

And said:

“Yes please”.

She got into a car with some friends and disappeared in the dust,

Towards the town, alcohol, and food and telling more people where we were.

 

I remember passing out by the fishermen's houses.

When I woke I was strewn amongst the feet of dancers.

One said:

-”Are you ok man?! You were sleeping, so I kept your glasses, just so no one would step on them.

Here. Take them.”
-”Ah, thanks man”

-”sure! No problem!”

And he danced away never to be seen again.

I got up,

and ascertained that the Party had grown to engulf me.

Now everything was the Party.

 

I think it was the second day,

Maybe the first,

Or the third,

I don’t know,

When Mónica told us we shouldn’t be there when his girlfriend came.

 

João, João Mónica,

was a spearfisher that lived in the house next to ours.

 

When it got cold,

Three or four in the morning,

everyone looked for a place to stay.

And in our place there was a living room, where anyone that could squeeze, could sleep.

It was so cramped that you layed with your head over the feet of someone, and,

if anyone got up,

we would all move.

 

But,

If this was the house of the Party,

Mónica was somewhere else.

 

He looked,

suspicious and wary,

at the growing party.

He had no appetite for this.

All he wanted was calm seas to fish near the rocks,

catch one or three fishes,

get home

and get drunk.

 

The Party had nothing for him.

 

One day,

I can’t remember when,

Monica called us,

because he had something to say.

He said that he made peace with his girlfriend,

which we didn't knew,

that this was to be a new beginning,

and he wanted to make a nice dinner for her,

a sweet and romantic evening.

And if we, please!

Just please,

just for this night,

would stop the Party.

 

Off course we all said yes,

how could we not?

Mónica was such a good guy,

he deserved it,

and we were so eager to give it to him.

 

Unknowing, at that moment, that we were promising something what was not ours to give.

 

The Party continued regardless of our screams for silence,

quiet

peace,

In fact,

It seemed to get louder,

 

That night,,

Monica came out his house,

baseball bat on hand,

screaming

“You motherfuckers, you bloody motherfuckers!””

 

He came out swinging his bat in the air,

as if to impress on us his commitment to using it.

Slowly, the mdma people moved just enough to be out of range,

and continued dancing.

 

He screamed into the night,

as everyone did their best to ignore him,

“Motherfuckers! You fucking motherfuckers!”

 

Then César and Leite got there.

César stopped in front of Mónica and said the kind of words that make a bull jump you.

Mónica left the bat on the floor and punched César on the face.

Repeatedly

Leite tried to separate them,

and, when they saw him,

they punched him instead.

 

When I looked again, César and Monica were hugging, Leite seemed pleased, and it was morning.

 

César passed by me and said,

-”It’s alright, It’s alright”

I believed it was.



We were at the beach when someone said:

-”We should do a big party.

“Something in the thousands. Something to remember.”


César went to talk to the Irish,

and explained why a bigger party,

with people buying for beer

and they getting a cut, could be a good thing.

They said yes.

 

I don’t know from fear or cupidity

but they said yes.

 

When I looked from my vodka bottle, the Party had changed,

It had moved nearer the house of the Irish.

There was a stage,

barrels of beer,

And music that churned menacingly on.

 

When it got dark, it exploded,

lights to be seen for miles,

music to be heard for further than that.

The Party got bigger.

 

Later

later on,

The police came.

Someone should have went,

that day,

To the police station and tell them that we were having a party,

But this had slipped through everyone’s fingers.

 

-”Do you have a permit?”

-”What?!”

-”Do you have a permit?”

-”A permit for what?”

-”For this!”

-”What?”

-”This party! Do you have a permit?”

-”Oh! A permit! Yes! I talked to your colleague that was there this morning.”

-”Who?”

-”Your colleague.”

-”What his name?”

-”Well, his name was (noise, noise), and he said it was alright, and we should tell it to anyone who came here.

-”He said that?”

-”Off course”.

-”I’m going to call the precinct and check it out.”

-”Yeah, you do that.”

 

They were shuttled from person to person,

talking to everyone who would listen,

and waking up to terrible realization that no one was in charge.

This took them from two to 3 in the morning, until someone put their arms around the cops and said,.

-”Ok, you’re right. We should stop”.

 

We turned off the lights, moved the Party some 70 meters up  the road and resumed the festivities.

 

I usually stayed for three or four days at a time,

sometimes more.

When I came home, 250 km away, I always would feel empty.

Depleted of wants and reasons to be,

A physical and spiritual hangover.

As I tried to get my life back together, the phone would rang:

-”´sup?”

-”sup”

-”Wanna come here? Someone brought mushrooms and we've tripping for two days.”

...

-”´kay.”

 

And I would find myself saying,

“Inês, we’re going to Alentejo again”.

-”´Ok. Do you want me to take the wine?

-”yes please”.

 

For two months that was what I did.

I went there for 3/4 days, it would get too much for me and I would go home.

Then someone would remind me of the Party, and I would think,

“The fuck am I doing home?”

 

Cold stopped the party.

As Summer went, so it did.

And,

as it formed,

it went away,

 

The Party wasn’t the result of our volition,

nor was it something we could call ours.

It came like a metereological feature that formed fortuitously

and stayed there until it dissipated.

And it was,

In its way,

Beautiful.



 

31
Ago17

Porn

The-New-Doll.jpg

 

 

 

“-My computer is filled with viruses and porn."

-"Porn?"

-"Yes. Your nephews downloaded God knows what to my computer.

Now I have these porn sites popping up at all time."

...

I keep seeing men with huge penises … that's not real, is it?

“- Yes mother, it’s real.”

“-Oh.

Poor things…”



15
Ago17

The mouth of babes

b4d832695b854ca7674e56ec9ae56757.jpg

 

 

 

 

Dad! You have to remember we're not in the twentieth century anymore!

I opened my mouth to speak

and found only remembrances of 79, 85, 95...

Pointing my finger at my daughter

I paused to say something,

and said nothing.

 

Then my wife laughed.

14
Ago17

Grandmother

old woman.jpg

 

 

 

I

 

 

“-You have to visit your grandmother. She’s weak now and won’t be with us for very long.”

said my father, while driving us in that December night.

I mumbled noncommittally and looked at the trees outside.

“She became frailer this last few months.

You haven’t seen her for so long, so you don’t know.

She looks like a little old lady.”

 

Which was something strange to say about a 85 year old woman.

 

But not so strange if you knew her.

upright

uptight

unmoving

unwavering

unshakable

 

wholly unlikable.

 

When we were evicted and my parents divorced,

because when it rains, it pours,

me and my sister went to live with my grandmother.

much to the chagrin of everyone involved.

But mostly hers.

 

Our time there was one of abuse, spite and confrontation,

and waking to the knowledge that the ones that should protect,

sometimes bite.

 

We were told that her house was not like our parents house,

that, in her house there were rules,

order,

and that, if we abided by them, all would be fine.

 

But this was a lie.

 

The rules were not there to rule the house,

but to change our behaviour.

which was seen as undisciplined

moorless

unfocused

weak.

 

All free time was an opportunity for sloth,

our interests were suspicious as they were chosen by us,

our achievements were not to be celebrated so we wouldn’t think too much of ourselves.

our parents were feeble, stupid,

And we should be grateful we didn’t live with them anymore.

 

This was our original sin,

the indiscipline of our parents,

and thus,

we were the result of bad stock and bad habits.

 

My father lived with us,

she was his mother,

and tried his damndest to see and hear nothing.

He resigned from fatherhood and became a son.

expecting cooked meals,

pressed clothes,

clean shirts

and no sons to disturb this second adolescence.

 

I hated him so much …

my sister still does.

But what I hated most of all was conceding to my grandmother

that he was,

indeed,

a coward.

 

Lost in himself.

forever blameless because forever 14,

an hedonist not out of love of life,

but because little boys don’t make plans.

 

Living there was a war that made me defensive and wary of people for years.

Cagey, afraid and suspicious of kindness.

Always on guard,

ready to bite and run

always alone and happy to be so.

 

When my mother got a rented room I went to live with her,

sleeping on the floor next to her bed.

 

As I was going out the door my grandmother touched me on the shoulder and,

as I turned,

slapped me twice on the cheeks.

 

“I know why you’re going away! So you would do what you want! Go be a failure like your father!”

 

Her eyes were wide,

hands taut and claw like.

She seemed eager to pounce.

 

I was twelve years old.

 

II

 

And then I didn’t see her for years.

My father would try to get me to come to her house,

remembering me that she loved me,

saying that all that I remembered,

all that happened,

was nothing more than lazy teens living with an old lady set in her ways,

Just that.

That,

sometime in the future,

I would look back and laugh at these cherished family memories.

And,

furthermore

I probably,should have heard some of the things she said to me,

as they were advice to be heeded.

 

Many years passed,

ten, maybe more.

I was in the car, with my father, on that December night.

 

I think it was my sister’s birthday and we were all going out to dinner.

My father roped me to go pick my grandmother.

and I …

by then,

didn’t feel much of anything.

Ten years passed,

everything fades to gray.

 

I remember it was cold.

The car heater was on and I had my overcoat,

but, if I pressed my face to the window,

I could feel the sting.

 

We parked outside her house, and he said:

“Go get your grandmother. She’s waiting for us.”

 

When I opened her door, a numbing chill came from inside.

the stale dusty winter of closed houses.

 

All the lights were out and I asked myself if she was sleeping,

or dead.

 

I called:

“Grandma! … Grandma! It’s Miguel Grandma!”

 

Silence.

 

I climbed the stairs,

my steps muffled by the garish carpet she liked,

dark

unmoving.

 

As I got up there I heard:

“Oh, it’s you. I thought that your father would pick me up.”

 

There she was.

 

Bent over on an unforgiving chair that was never used to sit, she sat.

In the dark,

by an open window,

letting in the street lights dim glimmer.

 

She looked frailer,

smaller,

distant.

 

“Grandma aren’t you cold?”

“Cold? No, not really. Why? Is it cold today?”

“Why are you sitting in the dark?”

“... well, I was alone here, I wasn’t reading … I saw no reason to waste electricity”

 

She looked vaguely at me,

as if it should be mine the next move,

as if she needed a prompt.

 

“Come on Grandma, I’ll help you get up”.

I took her arm,

she took her cane,

which I never seen her use,

and, as she leant on me, I felt the weight of nothing on my arm.

 

She was insubstantial

indifferent to the cold

and not really there.

 

“I thought your father would pick me up.”

She said again.

“He’s waiting in the car Grandma”

“Oh … ok”

...

“Where are we going again?”

“It’s Margarida’s birthday Grandma. We’re going to dinner.”

“Oh … Ok”

 

 

Late that night we came back from Lisbon,

through the “Marginal”,

winding from Lisbon,

to Cascais,

always hugging the sea.

 

My grandmother looked outside and,

for the first time that night,

she looked engaged.

 

“This is so pretty...

Maria."

Her eldest sister.

"Would love to see this…

I’ll tell her tomorrow.”

Maria had died ten years ago.

 

“Zé!”

My father

“Do you see the lighthouse?!”

“Yes mother, I do.”

“So pretty…

I’ll tell your father.”

My grandfather died 24 years ago.

 

She sat on the front of the car,

me and my sister on the back,

so happy to ride the Marginal,

 

“Grandma!”

Said my sister. Not one to leave well enough alone.

“Yes?”

“Aunt Maria is dead.”

“Yes. Yes she she is … Silly of me.”

 

She said nothing for a while,

but smiled…

at the road,

the night,

the sea

the trees

the houses

I don’t know.

She just seemed content

to see the world pass by,

my father by her side,

and her ghosts around her.

 

That night I gave my Grandmother for dead.

 

 

III

 

 

When she died,

really died,

it was much more kinetic and a lot less poetic.

 

I saw her again at a burial in Cascais cemetery,

where my grandfather was buried

and where she had bought a plot next to him.

 

We were burying a son from one of her sisters,

a 41 year old man,

prime  of his life,

cancer.

 

As the men started shoveling dirt into the hole,

I became more aware of my grandmother’s discomfort.

She would twitch nervously among the graves,

not knowing where to be.

 

She came next to us,

Tsk tsking,

as if the funeral was all wrong.

 

I think it was by the third time she went through the grave that my mother took her by the arm and asked:

“Mother, are you ok?”

“Yes … Yes … it’s just that, I’m so old, and this is my graveyard … I feel that I’m next.”

 

“Mother, don’t say that!

you look so well!”

My grandmother smiled thinly,

shrugged her shoulders,

and went near his grave.

 

Her sister was leaving

already by the exit,

crying and held by someone.

 We followed.

 

Behind all of us,

my grandmother stood looking at my uncle's freshly dug grave.

 

My sister sighed as she looked at her.

I said:

“I’ll get her”

“No …I will”.

 

She went to her side,

teetering above her nephew's grave,

and hugged her,

hard.

 

Her shoulders moved upwardly,

surprised to be held,

and let herself be touched.

For a while,

for a little while.

 

She patted my sister,

took her arm,

leant on the cane,

and pointed to the exit with her chin.

 

They moved from my uncle's grave

one cane held, the other looking at the ground,

through my mother,

who looked at me

wet eyed and empathizing,

expecting of me what this place took from everyone.

 

But me,

having no one but me to subsist,

being

then

so bereft of others

and stripped of warmth,

could only think:

“I must get away from here before they understand how much I don’t care.”

 

I looked at the gravel,

and hoped that my grandmother's trek through the graveyard would be as long as it could be.

 

The bitch.

 

IV

 

 

Have I talked about her dying?

Yes I did.

And then I remembered the death of someone else.

My mistake.

I apologize.

 

I will tell you

finally,

of her death.

 

I was sleeping at my girlfriends when she woke me,

shaking me softly:

“Miguel , Miguel, your grandmother just died. I’m so sorry”

 

“Who called?”

“Your mother. Your father tried to phone you but you didn’t answer.”

I looked at the phone

It was around 3h30.

My father called,

for the first time,

at 2h05.

I wasn’t very late.

 

I got up,

took a bath,

Shaved,

put on my suit,

a dark tie,

and my black overcoat.

 

I arrived and my father was crying.

“Miguel, I’m so glad you came!

please don’t go to your grandmother’s bedroom. There’s nothing to see there,

not anymore…

she died without her teeth and  her wig.

I just couldn’t let anyone see her like that.”

 

By then all had been done.

My father had welcomed the police and the 911.

they did what they do,

said how sorry they were for his loss

and went away.

 

Leaving him with his mother

under a sheet,

with her wig

and her teeth.

 

He saw me looking at her and said:

“She died in my arms.

I was sleeping when I heard her cry:

“Zé! Zé! Come here, I can not breathe!”

she was quivering uncontrollably,

her nightgown at her breast,

no teeth,

no hair.

she looked at me gasping for air.

 

I said:

“Mother, mother it will be all right!”

trying to stop her jerking.

but I couldn’t.

I craddled her head,

and squeezed her hand

gripping her close to my chest.

 

she moved, once

twice,

thrice,

and then stopped.”

 

There’s nothing of your grandmother to see in that bed.

Just a shell”.

 

He cried some more,

and I got curious about her corpse.

 

I moved

stealthily

to where she lied.

 

She was small,

she was always small,

but now she was just a bump on a bed.

 

I pulled the sheet and looked.

 

Her jaw jutted sideways,

as if it trying to leave her face.

the eyes looked upward, looking intently at the ceiling.

My father tried to closed them, but they opened again.

Hands were clenched around her breast

trying to move a weight from her chest.

 

I saw all this and thought

”God, I hope my father doesn't see this!”

But he did.

Alone

for a long time.

He put her teeth

and her wig on.

 

As he cried it dawned on me,

I can not help this man from the horror of the death of his mother.

but maybe, I can help him bury her well.

 

My grandmother now,

the cunt,

was so much of what she was in life,

dead weight and bad memories.

 

But maybe,

just maybe,

my father remembered something else,

and maybe,

I should respect this.

So I did.

 

The wake was a pleasant affair.

I went to wash my hands and saw that I was much thinner,

and that I looked good in my suit.

 

The rest of the day I mc’ed the event,

happy and self assured

safe in the knowledge of my handsomeness.

 

Some of my sisters' girlfriends came and commented on how good I looked.

It felt nice.

 

My father cried in a corner,

not able to navigate the social niceties

and me so eager to do it.

 

It was a long wake.

We were there at nine in the morning and came home at midnight.

All day in a tasteless chapel in one of the more nondescript places in Cascais.

If I wasn’t so pleased with myself it would have been unbearable..

 

The next day was the burial.

and if you’ve been to one, I’ve nothing more to add.

The same solemn steps,

the same hole,

that thud in your heart when you hear the dirt coming over the casket,

and the lingering feeling that,

all in all,

better them than us.

 

V

 

I wish I had an ending for this poem,

some kind of coda to wrap the story in a pithy summation.

But I haven’t.

 

The story is what I wrote,

even if I don’t know

clearly

what I intended to tell.

 

I read that some mathematical problems can’t be summated in a equation.

there’s no way to discern an underlying algorithm,

no way to summarize elegantly the unruly mess that are some questions.

Sometimes

the only way to explain them

Is going through all the calculations,

step by step,

painstakingly forbearing any intelligence,

and giving yourself,

freely,

to arithmetic.

 

And I think that is what happened here.

The story is the story,

void of morality and gnosis.

 

And that will have to do.

 

05
Ago17

Mário

Picasso-Death-of-Casagemas.jpg

 

 

“When your stepfather was dying in the hospital”

Said my mother

He would look at me and say:

“Save me! Save me!”

And I thought he was talking about the medication that caused him pain”

 

She took a sip from her glass and continued.


“But of course I was lying to myself.

He wasn’t talking about the medication…

And,

Yeah…

Not everyone dies well."



24
Jul17

Cat

 

 

 

The girl stood in front of the car screaming:

“No!

      No!

           No!"

 

There was a thud,

                         and then nothing.

 

Her friend stared

                           as she shouted at the driver:

                                                                      “Real nice M’am! Really, really nice!”

 

I looked behind me, to the cat in the road.

 

It was jumping and somersaulting spasmodically

In total silence

pirouetting in the air,

almost never touching the tarmac,

an acrobat of pain.

Not what you'd expect from a cat ran over.

 

But there he was,

airborne

contorted

kinetic

hurt.

 

Coiling and uncoiling at lunchtime.

23
Jun17

Dancing

 

 

 

 

I saw her through the car window,

as she started to dance for the pigeon on the sidewalk.

Looking vacantly at the bird,

  smiled thinly as she raised one arm,

      and pointed the other to the ground.

She stirred,

     poised to lift her leg in dance,

                      an impossible position,

                               precariously one footed.

As my Uber sped to never see her again,

I thought of Shiva

the Cosmic Dancer,

and It’s strange and fleeting avatars.



 

 

 

11
Abr17

The Question

 

It was night and we were drinking in the garden by the church.

I looked at my friend and asked him,

- “Di, are you always aware that you’re black?”

- “No, not really. Sometimes I think about it, if someone is weird with me in a bar,

or on the street … people looking at you funny, know what I mean”?

- “Yeah”

- “Then I think, is it because I’m black?

But you don’t know.

Not really.

It can be for so many reasons

    …

Yeah; but I think about it.”

 

 

 

 

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