Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Same Old Love

"Prodigal, you have given me love! Therefore I to you give love."

Iago cocks an inquiring eyebrow.

I shrug. "Sorry."

"It's all right honey. At least Whitman is a change..."

I sigh. Poor Iago has to put up with a lot. The only reason he hasn't given me up entirely, is that he's gay. He sort of understands poetry. And the heart of the heart, the centre of the centre, and the quiet dark. Oh God, I'm at it again...

I celebrate myself and what I assume, you shall assume...

"Darling, I'll have to take away your Leaves of Grass if you don't become more coherent. What exactly are you trying to tell me?"

A familiar refrain. Speak clearly Jenn, no one knows what the heck you're trying to say.

I struggle for utterance. The thing is, words dissolve in my brain and reform in entirely unexpected ways.

Every atom that belongs to me as good as belongs to you...

"That's nice sweetie," his shoulders droop and I can hear him thinking across the cold, cavernous space between: "No use trying to get any sense out of her today."

I bow my head ashamed and allow my long matted hair to cover my face. It smells of unwashed neglected human. It smells of shattered structures. It smells of the debris of unborn children.

Iago leaves.

And I am alone. Walt won't come to see me today, I don't think.

There's the white shell I put to my ears. The sea rushes in. Other smells. Pleasanter smells.

Memory.

Smells.

Memory.

Ceremonial incense burning and I intone with an intensity that surprises the birds:

To die is different from what anyone supposes. And luckier.

To die is different from what anyone supposes. And luckier.

To die is different from what anyone supposes. And luckier.


I finger the prayer beads fervently.

Maybe he'll empty out the words and take me away from my dank hair and stale garments.

A ragged discordance is torn from my throat...

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what one supposes, and luckier.


God help me.

Or send Walt.

7 comments:

Nessa / Goldennib said...

Hi Baby:

I would like you to pick three books that you would like us to read and discuss. Beginning October 1, I'm starting an online reading club and you always have such interesting reading choices. No theme necessary; variety good.

We can read Walt first if you like.

Jenn said...

Oh cool cool cool cool cool!

I vote for Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham, Leaves of Grass by none other and any book of essays by Max Beerbohm because I am fascinated with him. Either him or The Waves by Virginia Woolf.

Antonia said...

jenn, i love the way words tumble around in your head and then fall on your blog page which is the only way i am able to hear them. maybe some day in person.

Jackie's Garden said...

I love the way you write. And I love reading everything you write. Even when I don't understand it. Thank God.

bo said...

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems,

You shall possess the good of the earth and sun (there are millions
of suns left.)

Nessa / Goldennib said...

Oh, these sound like great choices. I am finishing the planning and we will use those as the first books. If you have any ideas as to what to include, let me know. I'll email you what I thought of so far.

Bo: Beautiful.

Jenn said...

Antonia: And I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.

Jackie: :)

Bo: I merely stir, press, feel with my fingers, and am happy. To touch my person to some one else's is about as much as I can stand.

Nessa: Fantastic!