Letter to Levity

This entry is part 66 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11

Dear buoyancy, dear levity, dear
little digression; dear necessary respite
from gravity and circumspection, your voice is
just audible over the wind like a junco’s chitter—
Leaves like tongues lift off from the newly melted
forest floor, busily trading all kinds of news
from the world— for instance, why did I not know
before today of Qaddafi’s all-girl coterie of virgin
bodyguards, smart as models in their khaki outfits;
or of how he sometimes likes to camp out in five-
star hotel gardens in a sumptuous, heated Bedouin
tent guarded by a camel? Or of Unsinkable Molly B,
the cow that jumped a slaughterhouse gate and fled
authorities by swimming across the Missouri river?
(She’s safe now in a Montana sanctuary.) They say
that Elton John’s in town this weekend: I want to know
if he’s traveled with the same grand piano that workers
in Tsarkoye Selo scratched their heads over, wondering
how to hoist it through the narrow windows of Catherine
the Great’s gilded ballroom. And what about those three
men in Malaysia who made off with 725,000 condoms
(still missing), or the Mexican woman now on her ninth
day of a hunger strike, demanding an invitation to Prince
William’s wedding? A 35 year-old naked man was captured
on surveillance video taking sausages from the kitchen
of a retirement home. Who knows why these things happen?
Perhaps an inexplicable longing seized them all in the night,
some order not to be disobeyed flashed on in the cortex
of the brain. Once, my daughter’s piano teacher mistook
a gift of strawberry body butter for yogurt. She called,
half laughing and half in pain, saying she was just
so hungry, that it smelled so beautiful and good; and
suddenly she wanted it, more than anything in the world.

Luisa A. Igloria
02 19 2011

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.

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2 Comments


  1. RETURN MAIL
    (After Letter to Levity)

    How could you have guessed that my voice is barely
    “audible over the wind like a junco’s chitter?”
    Funny how it’s really reduced to a little snowbird’s
    Titter, and I have not heard of that rara avis junk
    Since I used it as foil to lads and lasses jumping
    Into dark waters wherever filth and penury mingle.

    I cannot stop giggling now on my hammock by the bay,
    Although I cannot abide the gauche mongers staring
    at me rolling off into a soft sand splat roaring silly
    Reading about Herr Khadaffi, condoms, sausages,
    Feasts on strawberry lotion, virgins, and decrepit me.
    But it’s good you wrote me again. I need levity.

    After my last harangue about my rended haunches
    and dying loins on ebbtides and stripped quarry trucks
    revving the bejesus out of my long vacation by the sea,
    I need to travel around this blistered place and back
    and bring with me lyrics of laughter and relics of joy
    and orgiastic screaming on searing summer beaches.

    But all I hear now over my hammock and hoary
    Body creaks are the ceaseless banshee of mourning
    And dying in mudslides, drowning in mudfloods,
    Crushing skulls in errant temblors, whales beaching
    Themselves in sandbar graves, deaths in Tunisia,
    Egypt, Libya, Iran, Bahrain, Lebanon, Myanmar.

    And it is not afternoon yet. Trala-la. Haha! Trala-la
    Snowflakes crackle with dry leaves. Tra-la. Ha-ha!

    —ALBERT B. CASUGA
    Mississauga, Ont. 2-19-11

    Reply

    1. Oh, oh, oh, Luisa! Just getting to this now. Yes to everything Albert says, and — but? — what’s the conjunction, here? It’s got a long poignant echo. “She wanted it, more than anything in the world.”

      Reply

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