Saturday, April 03, 2010

Snake Skin
[Poem on My Birthday]
for D.B.A.

i.
just all right
to be getting to know her
better and better and more and more

in this way I enter
inserted deeper and deeper
and more and more

all of me inside you
the way a great big snake
swallows some large animal
as if clothing it in snake skin

I swallow you though
as you swallow me

when we are done
will we disappear

when I’m all the way in
when I’ve gone all the way down
and you have too, two in one oil
for bike parts, other running things

that they run without screeching
without hitch
by fluid oiled

when I’m on your bicycle
and you’re on mine
and we go round the world
would there be more to ask for
or to desire

to hear of your seeking me
desiring to see me

thrill like this I have not known
since I was in love
at Memphis State
with Cynthia Maya Fisher

ii.
fishing for poetry in the shallows
line thrown out, off a rock

necessary to deep-fish for poetry
sufficient in depth and in size
to serve the world
to save the world

iii.
I am older than Columbus
1451 to 1506
I am 56 today

I have landed in the land of dreams
I’ve discovered the kingdom of love

love of mine and I,
meeting to start my day, this new year

can hardly bear the delight of it
when she climbed Starbucks stairs
when she appeared

could hardly bear goodbye either
our tearing apart, her having to go
to leave

on a cruise, in a town in Italy
where might we have been together
all day, no need to separate
even when night fell, even at night fall

rain fall, snow fall, stars fall
from where, if not from heaven,
would she have fallen

what fall, what Percy or Stokes t’row
or Chicago

I don’t know, know I happy
or happier dan one who win der lotto

“You’re a poet?” a man asks me
in a loud voice, here in the Men’s Room
where I am on fire for her and for love
and forever

poetry to make of whom I love
of a woman I love
wherever the muse she is
alights upon me
she refuses to release me

I hope she never does
hope she never will

I want to die happy
as happy as I am today

go out like I came into this world
a shooting star

I came into this world
like most of us
at the summit of love

I came down from that mountain peak
tip of my pen like a mountain
from which I speak

sermon in the morning
from the mountain

iv.
she lets me love her
lets me be her lover

how that is I wish I knew
too few times like this, like these
in all my days

why now
when I’m about to die
or when I thought I was

has she come by
to reverse what I thought was fate
this date and my life’s changed

my nose up against this window
I see what I thought
was the world outside

it is instead a great big aquarium
I peer into

in it, coconut trees
in it, tourists going by
in it, boats and ships in harbor
or coming or going

woman, apron she wears
muddy with paint

old paint, old colors
occupies a chair of white plastic

over and over she paints the moon
O she makes so well in the sky
in blue paint

under water all I observe
pigeons, taxi cabs
vehicles traversing
Woodes Rogers Walk
going both ways

nose up against the glass
of this container
is it air or underwater
where people,
along the side walk, go

able to breathe in there
under there, out there

glass between
the world they’re in and mine

world I’m in with Jazz musicians
beating drums

on saxophones, on trumpets
on piano
rhythms to lift the spirit

redden the blood
of a red blooded Bahamian
with his nose up against
an aquarium with sea and sky

happy me, happy enough to die

if I must, when I must
birthday and my last day
in brackets

all my days, my life
like an aquarium also

full of water or air
able to breathe
until you can no longer

able to breathe
until you expire

v.
I’ve thrown the moon into the water
for drowning men and drowning women
for children drowning, life raft for who will buy

I’ve thrown the moon into the water
it is actually the moon’s reflection
it hasn’t actually fallen, like the end of the world

vi.
could that have contributed
to why she is wonderful

her twin brother
biting into her left breast at 10

scar she shall have to live with
we shall have to live with
as long as she lives
as long as we live

as long as I love her
certainly not less than
for the rest of my days

in a daze when I see her
never worse than today

our meeting this morning
in celebration of my 56th year

how old she is, I shall not tell
I’ll tell you though
that I am under a spell she’s cast

one I do not intend to
or wish to over come
or to get over ever

vii.
she can deep-read
can deep read in deed

what if an entire nation
was able to gaze as deeply
into a page, into ink upon a page

more profound by far
than a well to drop a bucket down
in

we could all drown
in insight, in wisdom, in knowledge

if only we could, in substantial numbers
deep read
like she does
as she can

viii.
amazing the unexpected place or places
from which affirmation comes
from which affirmation springs

I am 56 and alive and well and in love
I could have been as dead as Shakespeare
as dead as Columbus

Jacques Brel,
who was alive and well and living in Paris
is alive no longer, I am left to tell the tale
to sail the seas, to weep for joy

who told anyone
that this rock was not Eden, not Paradise
for everybody on it

not just the 7x21,
but all of this world, this globe we’re on
going round without end

who has hurled this planet across time
into space, with everybody on it

lovers and sinners, song writers and dog catchers
unbelievers and the saints of this world

lady beside me humming
I humming like a top humming
spinning, sleeping


© Obediah Michael Smith, 2010
This poem on my birthday
was written between 2:35 a.m.
and 4:42 p.m.
on Tuesday, March 30, 2010

1 Comments:

Anonymous D.A. said...

One may say 'the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility'
-Albert Einstein

Poetry makes it easy to understand the complexities of life and love.

Sunday, April 11, 2010 3:26:00 AM  

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