Wednesday, June 14, 2006

So, it's not revised. I'm not really sure where this feeling came from.

Oh, to reach a venerable old age!
To get gray hair! To have lived a thousand
years and yet have no regrets! To remember
a time, on the crest of a hill, when looking down
the entire gray-green spread of pines fell out against
red clay and it all belonged to me, I was its creator.

to know the pain of every person! to feel the infinite weight
of every sorrow! what can be more recklessly alive?—I tremble as a
woman does, from the middle east. Now, I am a young black man in America,
black and impotent, confident in the strength of my limbs and my
voice and my mind: disdaining the wise, their constant motion, on this
smoke-shrouded street. the beautiful sprawl of urban America! a tired
Chinese woman hanging out the gray-green laundry against red neon lights.

and the feeling of a party! the half-unspoken dread that every action
brings the evening closer to its climax! never again might I regain this moment,
never again these same people or these same thoughts . . . the indefinite stretch
of every second, the burning fire just below my throat, the manic twist of my
eyes with my thoughts . . .

time is what I can’t understand, is it a river (probably electric blue, like
the ones I drew in kindergarten), or is it a forest (Frost was a fool to call
death “sleep,” as if it were something natural!) or rather is time a relative
fabrication of our needy minds (here is what I mean: imagine the rice farmers
of Cambodia, tilling the gray-green paddies, forgetting the red blood of civil war,
forgetting the primitive days of the rain forest, the yellow stone temples to the
monkey gods –surely they existed, right?). but either way it will bring me
to an old age.

05:10:14 PM


Anonymous said...


SwalesT'shooth said...

Sounds a lot like Langston Hughes, for the first part, but takes on a spirit of its own as it moves toward the end. The excessive exclaimation points really work well for this type of piece.