Friday, April 09, 2010

Bougainvillea
for D.B.A. & Sonia Farmer

what I’d not written in a long time is a Sonia poem
certainly I can be unfaithful to DBA for this once, for this one

as if I needed permission or one set of muses
needed the others consent, to launch out, to lunge in

I need to write of Sonia though, going away tomorrow
do I need permission from Saad also, affair that she is in

even in art the protocol to be followed before you can
call upon poetry to flow, to come when called, will it

have I permission from all involved to write of Sonia
white and pretty and precious as carnations, as lilies

as a beach but she is not as rough as sand
though she can be as rough as waves, slashing,
splashing up, stinging spray

but she so cool, whatever cool means
vague, I know, and would not do and does not do
to convey specific thought or what is felt

I know she gurn an’ I gur miss her, I know I love her
I know der difference she has made and continues to

I know our friendship is among my life’s best parts
among the best parts of my old life, of my whole life

given DBA a place she’s begun not to know
what to do with, not to appreciate
would you believe she wishes to be demoted

upon a pedestal not where she thinks she belongs
you’d think it was the one Mussolini, in Italy, ended up upon
end of WWII, Adolf Hitler, torn down too

Mussolini elevated, impaled upon a spike
spike for you know who, but not that sort, not that cruel

where else, after a revolution,
were there those on spikes
my spike is nice, designed for what, for where
she is already well made, perfectly made

this is a Sonia poem I am writing and DBA intrudes
it is what she does, what she has done, taken over
pushed to the side, persons most important to me

afterward, after all, unable or unwilling
to accommodate the puppy that I am
care for it, groom it, pet it
provide it food and time and water

at times I’d go all day without a sign of her
at times I’d go two days and I’d be gasping for air

Sonia brings me air, brings me freshly bound books
along with new life, brings me renewal in a word or two

two friends in argument, only partially meant
our understanding so very deep, go very deep

just before she left she empathize,
commiserated
what I must put up with, go through with

it is her very own experience, she explained
infidelity is the issue, what’s at stake
it was the thesis of her graduation project at Pratt

she lives it, understands it

how needful, helpful to find that I was not alone
DAB, today, announced she has a boyfriend

I recall being told that Sonia had a boyfriend
that she had made it know on facebook
facebook was foreign to me then

an accountant-poet-friend, Ugandan, living in the Channel Islands
informed me, I was livid, so was poetry
I lashed out in verse then too

unhappy, in pain, I said, "Fuck!"

several times this morning

not wanting to give up or to give in
upset to be abandoned once again when I’m in love

been through this before, will have to keep on
up the Himalayan, where always, on the ground,
there is snow and the air is thin

in love, in loving, cross thin ice
don’t know when or where you might fall in

risk it, risk it again, knowing that, one day,
even if it claims your life, you’ll win

I do not want an easy road or an easier road
Sonia is so afraid of flying, heading back to New York,
necessary to have medication prescribed to face
what she must face

face music, undergo broken heart,
worse by far than broken arm, without anesthetic

before modern medicine, you’d take a great big swig
of Vodka, Brandy, Rum or Whiskey and bight down
and the knife went in or the limb came off

not at all romantic but what was one suppose to do
when there was war and loss of life or limb

have I, today, lost a baby I was in love with
melancholia or defiance - how and what exactly
should I feel


and Sonia’s leaving town - I thank God
that she’s left new, limited edition, hand bound books,
all copies numbered

who I want to be number one, wonders where to place me
old nag, she think to put me out to pasture
unfit for anything other or anything more

out to graze for the rest of my days
grazing until I, in a daze, pass away

or do I rage like Dylan Thomas
against the dying of light in Wales

I’m in Nassau, it’s April, on New Providence
outside my front door, bougainvillea
great big bush in bloom,
in pinkish-red profusion


© Obediah Michael Smith, 2010
7:53 p.m. 09.04.10

2 Comments:

Anonymous D.A. said...

I like the idea that everything in the poem seemed foreign, away or distant but the last stanza was so very close, it implies that you somehow came back to reality.

Sunday, April 18, 2010 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Obie Quiet said...

Thank you, thank you, D.A., so so much. What an inspiration your comments are and your attention is. What guidance you provide. Your involvement helps to complete these poems, which, even when I am done with them, have only been started. Readers, as precious as you are, I have to rely upon to take them the rest of the way even as the poem, hopefully, transports who reads it. God bless you. I love you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010 11:24:00 AM  

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