Month: December 2008

Christmas Morning

In every major town of France and most of Europe, the pharmacists take turns at staying open all night and on holidays.  In a similar way, Berkeley Espresso is the de facto café on guard on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I discovered that this morning, as I looked out the window this morning of Christmas, the street at its quietest, but the purple neon sign lit, and the only possible destination of walkers. Not one minute after I arrived, a long line of people formed behind me, as if I had attracted them like a magnet on my short wandering.  Perhaps we were all mysteriously synchronized, but for a minute I didn’t know whether to take my coffee to go, because a couple had entered and decided to reserve the counter stools for their own sense of security.  Fortunately, the man grabbed a table as soon as its current occupant showed signs of liberating it, and I could continue my plan of sitting in a corner of the counter to write this. This café …

Puzzle (revised November 20, 2008)

There he is, dead, alone Silent and undisturbed And you think that’s how he wanted to leave it. You look above for signs of an angel Taking away his soul As in the image in catechism And you see the image of an angel Cleaning the slate of your soul Showing indelible cracks From your fall Causing eternal pain Causing unmanly tears always retained. Your head bounces on an aluminum locker Spins about unsaid words and questions, Fragments of life locked in forever, Mysteries unsolved Wanting of Faith and Honor. You venture the back of an index finger On his one-day beard Remembering lips prohibited long ago From the freshly shaven cheek Reserved for the good housewife Now watching your gesture And deeper you withdraw Into the heap of puzzle pieces That will never come together To complete your picture.

Departure (a revision of “Ashore”)

The deserted pier floats away In silence And the town shrinks behind Soon a model in a museum Then blurred impasto Destined to decorate memories and The traveling theater of your dreams. For now there is only doubt In the silence of your mind For even the seagulls have left. You navigate on seas now calm then rough Counseled by ghosts and gods Against pirates jealous of your light purse Guided by the stars Confused by the clouds Siphoned by currents You reach A new port, outside your map Charming you with strange music To set foot on dry land Behind you the horizon Absorbed your history and silenced the voices of the past So far away now That you take a new name.