Thursday, February 11, 2010

Takaaki, Part V: The Hershey Wrapper

Hello, all.

It has been a little while since I have published anything new in my Takaaki series. I am sorry for the long hiatus. I wish that writing poetry was something I could do on a schedule. While not a day passes when I do not write something, or tinker with something, most of what I produce is such garbage that it would be an offense to the English language to do anything other than burn it.

Having tried mightily these last three months to make part IV the final part of the poem, I conceded to reality yesterday, in the midst of the blizzard: I must add one more part to the poem for it to be complete. Thus do we find ourselves here today.

This final part will explain (I hope) and tie together (I pray) all the loose ends left hanging from the sections that preceded it. Whether it does or not we shall discover in the ensuing days.

[I publish here the concluding lines of the previous part of the poem to provide a little context. If things sound a little clunky, I hope you will forgive me. I didn't sleep very well last night and I don't believe my brain is firing on all cyclinders.]

...I wash my hands of symbols. In the end,
We assign values to our words, defend
The ones that mean the most to us. For me
The one word is Takaaki—actually—
The individual, not the poem:
The hand which animates those sliding doors
Made of paper. All my metaphors
Amount to nothing, really, minus him:
Just words, just oscillations in the air
Which might belong to anyone, anywhere.

Tail waving triumphantly, our flame
Burned brighter, elevated to a shelf
Above the tub: a tiger cub, a tame-
Er creature than Takaaki or myself.
“Do all descendants of the samurai
Have fannies of such fearful symmetry
As yours?” I asked. He twisted and a face
Erupted so demonic in the place
Of his beloved features, it would take
More malice than I can muster—Milton’s art—
Half of the true horror to impart.
I sank deeper in our little lake
Of fire seeking shelter from his grin,
Pulling a sheet of suds up to my chin,

Leaving my penis exposed. The tip
Had surfaced, like a periscope, to peer
At his posterior. “Oh, get a grip,
Will you?” He does have a fantastic rear.
Dicks are fickle things—they come, they go—
The ass eternal. Michelangelo
Chipped thus, at marble, knowing in his block
A boy resided not a piece of rock.
The slab of dictionary I work with
May not be stone, it’s certainly not flesh,
The B-O-Y a word, three letters. Less
Promising materials do not exist
To build a world around. I don’t mind.
We poets have to work with what we find.

Part V

Building a brave new world began at the Moon-
Struck Diner, on 30th and 3rd—
With cheeseburgers as our foundation. Soon
We were discussing desserts. As absurd
As it may sound to you, the calories
Concerned me less than how the ginko trees
Whispered to the breeze, which blew a chocolate
Hershey wrapper across our path. (The thought
Of dieting has never crossed my mind
Or his, thank God!) I mentioned a Kit-Kat
Might aid in our digestion. We stopped at
That bright bodega with the chalkboard sign
Where I will purchase those chrysthanemums
Which will disgust Takaaki so. Green thumbs,

Jorge, was there, pruning thorns from roses,
Scraping pain away with a pocket knife.
I wonder if his knife ever closes?
My knife wouldn’t, if I led his life,
But then I don’t. “Do you have two cents?”
A box of cigarettes, matches—events—
Lay next to my Kit-Kat on the counter.
While remembering my first enounter
With Jorge, Takaaki had been getting on
With our lives, on behalf of both of us.
This is why it’s so easy to entrust
My future with him. Dialating on
Details, like discolored fingers, just leaves
No space for the important things—time bleeds

Away into infinity. Before
I know what’s happening to me, I will
Wake up an angry corpse one morning, sore
I missed so much. It is impossible
To do otherwise, I understand.
I placed two pennies in Takaaki’s hand.
Brushing his palm with my fingertip,
I felt a radiance I shan’t let slip
Away into oblivion no matter how
Much life it costs me to remember it…

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