Monday, September 04, 2006

This Place

Bicycles careening with glad smiles
to happy cafes and intimate theatres

Old Volvos for ivy-educated hips --
Who sprinkled the penguin dust here?

And the cut flowers drinking in their color
like an after work beer for Sam on Monday

A wine bottle lamp glowing mysteriously
next to a solitary, subtle tulip – a late summer plumb

Everyone like little kids on a Saturday morning
just whistling in overalls and following the wind

All before they’re called to the kitchen of Monday
morning to put on a serious face for the world.

(What could be more serious than being yourself?

I’d like to drop framed photos of Rimbaud
On every doorstep and grill fish with no clothes)

The leaves fall without portent by the pond
and the apples are shiny gold: Imagine it--

Hands on the park bench, flesh on flesh
dropping smiles in the grass – Irretrievable!

I love it like ancient trees. I love it like comets.
Let’s drink tea and pretend the birds are here to stay.


Blogger Prashanth said...

Oh melancholy,
as I grasp at the slipping
skirts of truant hope - skipping
away from me

fearsome solitude assaults
and I crave for the numbing
piercing drop of opium
in my blood, which will rise in tide
against truth's flush - humming

look around
at everyone
who dreams, sleeps
about this town
under the parting sun
and closer despair seeps

[while I'm not sure I perfectly captured the essence here, I reacted as I felt]

I think your work is brilliant, provocative and subtle. Taps deep into emotions.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Inkblot said...

another time
another place
still here
still near

very very visual ethos and why does it remind me of some old Italian town which is but a memory or perhaps the wish of one?

1:06 PM  
Blogger Prerona said...

i did imagine it ... golden afternoons ... but nothing lasts :)

2:17 PM  
Blogger _Soulless_ said...

and grill fish with no clothes

This had me chuckling. ^_^ (I am quite curious though about the reference to the poet Rimbaud.)

This 'place' -- with its manifestattions of a carefree life -- sounds like paradise laid out in several snapshots (one for each stanza). The ending is a quiet explosion of wonder (the twist, for me at least, comes with the word 'pretend' ^_^).

Immensely adored this. Thank you.

9:38 PM  
Blogger bert moth said...

prashanth - You reacted gloriously. I'm not sure the comment section here deserves it.

And thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated.

inky - I'm thrilled you used the word "ethos." That's what I was trying to capture here.

And an old Italian town? Pray, tell.

prerona - Nope. Unfortunately nothing lasts, so we must enjoy while we can.

soulless - Always a pleasure. I just moved - less than ten minutes from where I was living - but this side of the square is filled with recent graduates of grad school, and I'm smitten with the ethos.

As for Rimbaud, I'm a big fan of not only his poetry but his wild, countercultural ways. Instead of bringing over a pie, neighbors will get Rimbaud.

And I thank you. I'm glad you liked it.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

be carefull when you grill fish naked, you might end up cooking sausage instead!!!

8:17 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

cj - Hah! Holy shit. Bratwurst, anyone?

6:36 PM  
Blogger Jon Cox said...

This one REALLY made me smile! :oD Great work! Very cute & funny as well! :o) Thank you so much for stopping by! Haha, the tea party is all day everyday & ALL are welcome! ;o)

10:47 PM  
Blogger Stormy Zephyr said...

Very nice poem and a very curious reference to Rimbaud, as Soulless pointed out. Mischievous in its content, sometimes! I am curious as to what Penguin dust means. Nice work again, with a lot of wonderful, wistful images. This line leaped out at me!
"solitary, subtle tulip – a late summer plumb"
Way to go!

5:21 AM  
Blogger Rappaccini's Daughter said...

this i will always remember: "dropping smiles in the grass"


11:09 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

jon - Thank you for those kind words, but forgive me for disregarding the "cute" part.

And I hope that tea party is nothing but mad.

sz - Thank you for those words, my friend. I don't mind mischief. It keeps people on their toes.

The penguin dust part was just a little bit of fantasy, as was the Rimbaud to some extent. I could always substitute Morrison or Kerouac for Rimbaud. :-)

rappaccini's daughter - Even if they're irretrievable?

11:48 PM  
Blogger bismuth said...

saturdays. spent the last one driving around the city alone, radio blasting with 90's alternative rock. but i miss walking under a canopy of trees and the quiet of a sleepy town.

but rejoice! weekend is here!

12:25 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

bismuth - That sounds worlds better than being cooped up at home with nothing to do.

A little suburbia's nice for a while, but I don't want to get any deeper.

And your timezone is way ahead of me on the weekend! Ready... rejoice... Now!

7:31 PM  
Blogger {illyria} said...

everytime i read the word "bicycle," my heart reacts with some kind of popsicle-sweet tinge. a remembrance, perhaps, of things long gone? i found this piece gorgeous in its simplicity. i'm reading it again and it warms me, the way a conversation with a friend warms me. nothing compares to a sentiment that is bone-deep yet is as easy to describe as tea or ancient trees. thank you for that.

8:58 PM  
Blogger bert moth said...

{illyria} - HappyHappy GladGlad bicycles! The people around here are anything but simple, but I'm struck by the simple joys, like reading your comment. Thank you.

9:51 PM  
Blogger bismuth said...

oh yeah. i forgot. i just find too many familiar feelings and aching memories in your writing that i forget you live in another hemisphere- a completely different world (or maybe not). i guess it's true us humans share significant experiences. and no matter how different the particulars are (names of persons, time, date, place)- the elements are basically the same (people we love, people now we hate- hate and love expressed the same way; rain, saturday, canopy of leaves, sunsets, waiting for dawn, holding back the night, never ever saying goodbye, promises broken, vague intentions...)
i think i may have opened a tinderbox full of disparate yet highly volatile realizations for myself here. hmmmm. maybe i can write another entry in my blog. at long last. or maybe not. damn! your writing does this to me.

9:48 PM  
Blogger GEL said...

Hmmm. Delish.
I'm without more words soaking this entire masterpiece. (Yes, it's me. ;)

12:14 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

bismuth - That was beautiful. Thank you. I have to admit, I know next to nothing about your country, and I've been shocked at how many (terrific) people from there I've come across on the net. I don't think I've ever actually met anyone from your country in real life.

Out of all the people I know here, none blog. Zero. My friends know I have a blog, and I don't care to remember how many times I've been asked for the address, but I've never given it out, as I like the dynamic of this wonderful little self-selected community.

And I think you're right. The differences are just details.

But you are still a blog slacker. ;-) Post already!

**silvermOOn** - How would I not know it was you? ;-)

Feeling chipper and celebrating a belated birthday I hope...

6:29 PM  
Blogger bismuth said...

you haven't met any filipinos? that's strange. we are all over the place. the great diasphora of the filipinos.

but i guess that's good too. that way, you will know about us through the great writings of transience, mussolini, and yep, me. hehehe.

and i don't dare give out my blog add to my officemates or boyfriends for that matter. i love the freedom to express anything, however i want it. no one to really censor it but me.

7:51 PM  
Blogger bert moth said...

bismuth - Correction: I very well may have met a Filipino at some point, but for the life of me, I can't pinpoint a time. And I like to think I'm good with names and faces... Maybe I really haven't. hmm.

So, yep, you three are the torchbearers, the abassadors to mighty USA Inc., the peace pipe between our countries. However, you'll never win over awesomeamerica without posting!

11:49 PM  
Blogger {illyria} said...

LOL, if there's one thing i know about bismuth, she doesn't respond well to threats. :)

11:39 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

{illyria} - Heh. You’re right. She doesn’t seem to be responding.

The maintenance of foreign relations does rest in your hands, bismuth. Just saying…

8:49 PM  
Blogger bismuth said...

at almost 10 pm, i am still working. on a friday night! what the hell's wrong with me? i don't know why i've realized that just now. off to my blog!

9:42 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

bismuth - 10:00 p.m. and didnt' realize? Yikes! I wish my job was that engrossing.

We're working on an enormous class action suit, and us lowly recent grads are poring over thousands of documents. My group has brought in Trivial Pursuit cards to play in the afternoon. That and coffee are the only salvation.

(And my ass will be grass if I continue to be any more candid. He. he.)

3:31 AM  
Blogger bismuth said...

trivial pursuit? so many things in life are trivial pursuits, come to think of it. my job engrossing? not. it's more like being sucked into a vacuum. corporate writing has lost its lustre for me. so, how's the case going?

10:05 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

You know Trivial Pursuit, bismuth. And, yep, the world is rife with 'em.

The case has thousands of attorneys throughout the country working on it. So I'm a cog. Yup, a cog. I'm sure it will carry on for a while.

You can trade your job in for what I'm thinking of trading mine in for right now: three warm Budweisers and a teriyaki Slim Jim. Heh.

9:49 PM  
Blogger bismuth said...

hmmmm. sounds like a good trade! let's go! :)

10:35 PM  
Blogger bert moth said...

bismuth - Alright, but if you can't handle your beers warm, I'm taking them!

10:51 PM  
Blogger bismuth said...

i can always ask for ice, although according to the brewmasters i know from my previous employment, that would be sacrilegious. but wha the heck! let's go! :)

12:37 AM  
Blogger GEL said... might not know it was me because I was grilling complete S I L E N C E. hehe (loved that raw line that makes one wonder, were the *fish* dressed? ;)

9:48 PM  
Blogger bert moth said...

bismuth - I actually like mine cold, too. Maybe we could give the first six away. That would mean we'd be trading our jobs for a teriyaki Slim Jim. Let's do it anyway! :)

**silvermOOn** - The fish were dressed in the most basic and mouth watering seasonings. ;)

2:27 PM  
Blogger GEL said...

Ahh, your reply is really cookin'... Seems you fed the "sole" while you played your "tuna..." (it's 4:30 a.m. so I'm sillier than normal b/c my "cookie monster" has departed and there is no "sugar subsitute" for him. (except in my mind ;)

4:34 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

**silvermOOn** - Hahaha! I just noticed this, and I got a kick out of it. Thank you.

and ooh. ooh. I posted a far too belated photo.

1:14 AM  

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