mercredi 22 avril 2009

Magic and Loss

for Lou Reed

I was dragging around Goodwill
in my usual slow drug shuffle
time-releasing morphine in the cups
painful muscles sorting through the bin stuff
needing nothing with bulging closets
of riches and rags and rockets
and a stack of jeans in a worn-out bureau
some that still even fit
walking around like a slug in a
pair of boots I hadn't bought yet
just for fun, just for the hell of it
killing time as time is killing me
stalking a pretty girl amid the racks
all dressed in black, hair black
cloth black, cloak black
black mouth, black eyes and
those beautiful black nails
on thin, delicate fingers that
fly through the stacks with ease
and I know that feeling
that youthful breathless being
and how I want to feel it again
to have her look across at me
with that killer friendly love stare
and imbibe me with her energy
but she will not look up because
I must seem odd and miserable

so I move on to the checkout
because I'm dead dog tired
from the hour I frittered away
and as I move up in the line
each moment growing weaker
I look around for some distraction
before a fainting spell takes over
and now I'm close enough
to spin the CD rack real slowly
to try to read the tiny fonts
and there I see Lou Reed
some obscure album he
released in 1993
and I think, Lou Reed, now
there's a New York poet and
my god, he's still going
I really ought to listen
to more of him, so I grab it for
a measly four bucks and leave

At home in my chair
I lay back and forget him
He sits on my shelf for months
until a singular day in February
of the redundant new millennium
I rediscover him in a pile
between Clannad and Nakai
as I prepare to walk my daily mile
in and out of a Portland downpour
I shrug and pull him off the rack
lay the CD and pop shut the top, then
shove the machine deep into my pocket
adjust the headphones to my head
and pull my rain hat down on them
I turn and cross the threshold
without a thought, without a clue
that you were coming or
that I was coming to you
christ how true, how fucking ironic
to hear that pain-filled music
streaming out of you about
the death of your dear friend
and his brave suffering in the end
your rage, your sorrow
your revelations on pain
like i've never heard before
and tears begin to pour
because they must out
out out this body's pain
as I evaporate into yours
and your words are charmed
your words are goddamned hard

Oh the glory of it all
to find you at Goodwill because
someone couldn't listen anymore
and I needed to so badly
and my eyes and ears were opened
and I had a mystical moment for
the first time in god-knows how long
magic and loss, magic and loss
i'll never take this pain
for granted again
and maybe when I'm dead
and maybe when I'm dead
well, we'll see, won't we?
because 'the cold black sea
waits for me me me"
and "that all consuming fire"
makes me feel so alive
that I'm passing through, Lou
"passing through the fire
to the light" with you

"There's a little bit of magic in everything
and then some loss to even things out."
~Lou Reed

2/22/00 (the day after my 43rd birthday)

2 commentaires:

kiramountjoypepka a dit…

this is awesome

Stirling Davenport a dit…

Wow. What an amazing poem. What an amazing, graphic look into the moments that must be gathered strenuously together ... I love this line: "singular day in February
of the redundant new millennium ..." It all builds up to this, such a moment, such a revelation that there is a meaning to it all, a grace and counterpoint, a point at all, as fellow sufferers we top the waves with our songs. Beautiful, ma belle.