Page XI



Though patience is bitter, its fruit is very sweet.
                                                                      - Arab proverb

A solitary, unused to speaking of what he sees and feels, has mental experiences which are at once more intense and less articulate than those of gregarious man.  They are sluggish, yet more wayward, and never without a melancholy tinge.  Sights and impressions which others brush aside with a glance, a light comment, a smile, occupy him more than their due; they sink silently in, they take on meaning; they become experience, emotion, adventure.  Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous -  to poetry.
                                                                                          - Thomas Mann, Death in Venice

the swaying footbridge over the Rio Cuale -
               at both ends
someone waiting to cross over

If life didn't lead me on like a beautiful boy with his
          hands in his pants well I don't know
what kind of trashy pulp novels I'd be writing today

There is hardly a night when my thoughts,
like the waters of the Cuale River hurrying back to the sea,
don't return to you

you're the wind that feeds the storm in my soul
the night rain that makes the streets of my heart shine

the lightning just now that lit the sky and took out half the lights
of the city to bring poetry like that into the world

how cool the evening air -
        lightning bolts
across the western sky

coolness of the dawn -
                            a cock crows

coolness in the morning -
              hardly a wave breaks
Banderas Bay

coolness in the church -
                 she clicks her rosary beads

He's lost his priceless jewel,
sold it off to the highest bidder.
What's a man to do when everything conspires
to tell him that everyone has their price?

Try and try, he couldn't
get out of the net.
Only when it was too late
did he see the fisherman's intent.

The water-striders glide
        across the calm of the river -
there are bathers, too, far upstream

A single firefly -
        enough to light
the inner kingdom

I've written nothing all day -
the blazing august sky without a cloud in it

moon in the pond,
             face in a mirror -
now, the stones of my vengeance

For you and only you: this love that fells all
               the lilies of the field
and raises them up to bloom again the very same day

True words are hard to find,
rare as snow in July,
no matter how high you climb

brief summer night -
       before dawn, the novella is finished

short summer night -
          the casket remains open -
the town clock strikes six

I can say, the past is past
forget him now it doesn't matter anymore.
But when the past was the present
oh how much he mattered to me then.

the sudden shower -
          the moon in the pond
gets drenched too

The light of the day grows dim
But my memory of you glows
like a deep red coal far into the night

We waited for the moon to come up to find our way back,
but the clouds covered every trace of its light
So we slept in the field of white clover, our arms for pillows,
dreaming of a moon in a cloudless sky

I'm no more sane than the next madman.
I'm every one of his visions come true.
I'm the dream he dreamt last night
laying next to him in bed this morning.

All through the night I toss and turn
and doubt that you will ever return.
My anxieties plague me, and seem
as countless as the stars.
I get up to draw the curtains, but already
the dawn has come in without you.

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