Dedicated to my heroes*
So what do my eyes land on as I lift them off the screen
& let them wander (& wonder) – my bookshelves
with their mixture of dictionaries, fiction & poetry &,
way up, my own publications more or less professionally
printed or home-made. Those babies are gonna be
extremely valable some day! No, I haven’t had any
alcohol this morning, just caffeinic, & too much
of that. After not having much last night at Elke’s
birthday party, knowing I’d have to drive, so fore-
going the white floc & only taking a sip from the
white Armagnac that had come by post from that
part of France in a small bottle labeled “eau de
muses” to prevent any kind of customs troubles.
Jokes were made about that muse water, that it
made you muze or even see a bunch of muses
after consumption. There was Bernd’s baby,
about to turn 1 & what an angelic little beauty,
captured so well in the Christmas card showing
her on a backdrop of white wings. Lilly is her
name. But I was getting to another subject of
amusement – the snot sucker her parents left
behind & that was found on the floor when
somebody stepped on it & it squeaked. But
also allow me to tell you about this form, the
look around, departure & let loose. Something
that Dylan could have done, except it don’t
rhyme, a run-on of the verbal silent mouth
that could go on for ever since it won’t
focus on anything in particular, using just
about anything for departure in perfect want
of anything to teach, moralize about, plot
about, aim at, etc. You get the picture.
I did one of them a long time ago, & that one
still lingers in my memory for its traveling.
It covered Portugal, & Coimbra in particular,
part of it was flying as in a dream using a
self-developed method where the altitude
of flight was determined by the position of
legs & feet. Raise meant that I rose,
lower pulled me down. Not easy to do, not
easy to sustain for extended flights. Even
though, I believe, one flight took me to
Karachi from central Europe (about where
Erfurt is in Thuringia), going by the Car-
pathian mountains & giving Count Dracul’s
castle turrets a swipe with my left foot.
Nowadays I’d probably prefer the northern
route through Kazakhstan because some-
one I know & love wetted my appetite.
I’d head for Astana through clear blue
winter skies, not freezing because anti-
freeze comes with that survolant la terre
dream package, dipping down over the
right quarter of that vibrant & rapidly
growing city to briefly hover over her
apartment, then on at fancy towards
Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan, dropping
down occasionally to look at flora, fauna
& that crown of creation called mankind.
I found I’d overshot when the Altai loomed
ahead & lakes so shining & emerald
it was unbelievable. But that trip to
Karachi was past, I remembered, &
there was no need to go there. I was free
to fly wherever – on to Lake Baikal in
Siberia, to the mines in Mongolia I’d
seen in a movie watched a few days ago,
or return home. I was free, I realized,
I was free, & so might call this one
happy poem number three, dedicated
to bitter love & source of inspiration.
Long live the water of the muse.
– James Steerforth
Copyright © 2009.
Written online in this blog & left pretty much without revision.
* Including & foremost Frank O’Hara & John Ashbery
Fits in nicely with Intersections at Totally Optional Prompts.