Monday, January 25, 2010

Henry Miller

Sometimes late at night
Full of dark Panama rum
I curl myself into a tiny ball--
Fetal, the doctors would say.

And all rolled up, I enjoy the cool tile floor,
The bright bathroom lights,
Clinical and soothing and mirrored,
Like the green room into which I was born.

There is little safety in this green place
Outside the womb and a diffident mother’s embrace
So very little that is secure or wanted or sweet--
Nearly nothing that matters in the night.

I was in love yesterday, for example.
During the day and the evening,
Drinking coffee in a bar with a green tiled floor.
Even the necktied waiter enjoyed that love.

And tonight I curl into this space
While the music pounds on the street.
There is nothing to hold here
And less to want outside.

There are pictures in the travel agent’s window
That promise something more upright:
Some Grecian light and sea and air--
Henry Miller returned to life.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dying in Panama

Dying in Panama is a technical error
A busted taxi trapped in traffic
An rusted ambulance that doesn’t arrive
A problem of noise and streets to be remedied.

Doctors are the priests here, in charge
Of keeping me from the afterlife.
Insurance premiums the modern indulgences
that we pay and pay to not go anywhere special.

Heaven just redefined is not only possible.
It is here and sinfully green.
It includes still iguanas and waxy orchids.
So much better than we were told in the Catholic school.

There are no corny Austrian harps,
No cloud banks turned into chairs.
The apartments have tile floors and there is salsa
With trumpets and damning drums.

Recreation is the point of this tropical life:
We can recreate everything and at all times.
Ourselves, our lives, our loves—
Doctor willing. Kyrie eleison