Posts Tagged Joy
Today, my charges leapt
out, more than one
flash, confidence, an
unforced smile, brief
shoes on friendly
grit, grinning, drained
The fence leans chaotically
into and out of motley yards.
This is a portrait of the temporary.
Facts tell us
that the day was created to suit me.
But it’s not the day.
There are oriental carpets,
packed like freight train cars
carrying rats that departed from my ears,
rats with green itchy fur
and globules of yellow, oil-like poisons.
My mind pushes the deadly cement trucks
to run over the willowy carpets.
And balloons carrying fireworks
throw fire into their cavernous bodies
so they can get up to oversee my eager rats
sailing into a flaming sunrise
that cleanses the city dump
and sparks the stray dogs
with will to live.
We can ask shyly about tomorrow.
Or we can fly deep inside the lush, May grass
brought on by polar rains
that worked diligently to drown me,
to finally finish me off,
in the yellow shit from my rats.
The rats may be playing with the sun.
But today, the sun is mine.
Today is my second day
allowing that yesterday
was the first day.
Yesterday, my entire body counteracted
despair made from an insane state
very near death,
very near the end of a line,
and I cannot tell you now
if I ever lived before yesterday.
I may never get a third day
so for now,
I strip naked
and I dance wildly
on the roof of the old 7-Eleven store
on the corner where the car horns are busy
and the unused grass blows gently,
undisturbed by the heat
from the blacktop.
In the old days, before the new era, better known as the new life, I would drink too much alcohol whenever I was sad, and I would drink too much whenever I was happy. I was always sad or happy, so you can observe my dilemma. When I look back with honesty, I realize that I was always sad, or never truly happy. I drank to rid my consciousness of despair – a never-ending task. And when I had happiness or some sense of accomplishment or pride, I poured massive amounts of alcohol on it to maintain my state of joy, which always ended the next morning if not far sooner.
Today, I was listening to Shostakovich which is a bit like saying today I got dressed, but it was my first and favorite Shostakovich, the 10th Symphony. This piece is filled with despair with all sorts of glancing touches of hope. (It was meant as a farewell to Stalin after his death, and the portrait of Stalin is particularly poignant in the fury and evil of the second movement. Stalin prevented Shostakovich from creating freely and the 10th is surely a long-awaited response to that state of being. Violations of Stalin’s artistic censorship were always punishable by death and Shostakovich was very close on at least one occasion.)
It occurred to me that I love Shostakovich more than any other composer because he speaks a language that penetrates to the deepest and most vulnerable parts of my soul. I especially love my Shostakovich whenever I am either sad or happy, and I am always sad or happy, so you can observe my dilemma. However, in this case, the dilemma is not killing me or sending me to the insane asylum in the gutters of Brooklyn.
When I am sad, Shostakovich sits with me so I am not alone as I shake my fist at the world. Shostakovich communicated in his music that dreary state of knowing you’re not good enough for the world. When I am happy, I hear in Shostakovich the tremendous victory and gift and blessing of breathing right now, and I hear the knowledge that no matter how far down the scale I’ve gone, I can hope for happiness and hope that there will be moments of joy and happiness other than the one that is felt right this moment.
When I’m listening to the 10th, oh my god, I want to play the clarinet, piccolo, trumpet, or trombone. Oh my god, give me a fucking clarinet! But I never learned any wind instruments, and I can’t learn now because it would not start off sounding perfect, and the imperfect squeals would send me into fits of depression. I do believe I could play the timpani, and yes, I would love to play the timpani or tuba, yes, tuba, with the Chicago Symphony, preferably conducted by Bernard Haitink or perhaps Riccardo Muti, while it plays the richest and most emotional version of the 10th ever to be played while Shostakovich cheers me on in a deeply happy sate but with a fairly dark frown on his face and his heavy-framed glasses blocking view of the fire of his spirit coming out of his eyes.
Oh, thin, luscious black on massive white!
Oh, the cascading, golden brown, smooth candy!
Shape of a sweet berry swiftly arises within the offering.
Her hand is delicate and alluring and beckoning.
Gives me a hurricane of joy.
Warmth moves hot over ice.
Cannot watch my step; I stop.
Eyes sparkle from miles away.
The glass cannot stop her heat.
Great care is in charge of the massive ship.
She is as compassionate as any child of god.
Red lights reveal the end of my illusory love.
Delicate movement with giant metals.
I’m looking for her all day.
I want to think she wants me.
I will look for her tomorrow.