Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Tragedy of the Leaves

Home again. I woke up today not feeling nearly as bad I had yesterday morning.  One must be careful of ingesting too much of any liquid that is flammable. There should be a warning on the bottle, there probably is.  It seems an obvious truth that nothing good will come of it, even if you follow it up with beer in the hopes of neutralizing its potential hazards, there is still much danger.  I'm no expert, but my anecdotal experience brings me this simple homespun wisdom. 

I have the day off today, then another one just like it tomorrow.  The two days stretch out in front of me like a cliff-less plateau. Today I will lie around the apartment reading (Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov), tomorrow perhaps the shores south of SF or Lake Berryessa, north of Sonoma. 

Today is a friend's birthday. She just unexpectedly sent me a gift, a cd of poetry, for the long rides to and from work.  As this is one of her favorite poems by that author I will leave it here for any who care.

The Tragedy of the Leaves 

I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead, 
the potted plants yellow as corn; 
my woman was gone 
and the empty bottles like bled corpses 
surrounded me with their uselessness; 
the sun was still good, though, 
and my landlady's note cracked in fine and 
undemanding yellowness; what was needed now 
was a good comedian, ancient style, a jester 
with jokes upon absurd pain; pain is absurd 
because it exists, nothing more; 
I shaved carefully with an old razor 
the man who had once been young and 
said to have genius; but 
that's the tragedy of the leaves, 
the dead ferns, the dead plants; 
and I walked into a dark hall 
where the landlady stood 
execrating and final, 
sending me to hell, 
waving her fat, sweaty arms 
and screaming 
screaming for rent 
because the world had failed us 

-Charles Bukowski