Eu amava o amor, essa lepra.
I was in love with love, that leprosy.
–Eugénio de Andrade, Matéria Solar
Thanks to your lightfoot genius
no Eighth Route Army
kept its lines more fluid,
traveled with less baggage,
so nibbled the advantage.
Even with your small bad heart
you made a dance of departures.
–Stanley Kunitz, “After the Last Dynasty”
The gypsy musician tells the interviewer that his favorite album growing up was by Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsies. He had a cassette copy that he listened to thousands of times. He liked it because it was so different from the traditional music his father played. He didn’t speak a word of English then, and had no idea what the title meant.
I don’t have a car. Lately, in my dreams, I have been running across train stations in the oddest places, all lit up and waiting for the railroads to come back. Some people are already buying tickets at the window. Homeless people are already moving in.
There were lilacs in the above photo, but I cropped them out. If you can’t smell them, what good does it do to see their image? The white in the background is the side of my parents’ house. If it weren’t out-of-focus, you’d see clapboard: about six inches wide near the ground, tapering to less than five near the roof – a trompe l’oiel effect designed to make the house look taller than it is.
You are all homeless – says the one god – with me. The thin whisper of a voice is lost in traffic.