” Adioses ” by Pablo Neruda

IMG_0962Goodbye , goodbye , to one place or another ,

to every mouth , to every sorrow ,

to the insolent moon , to weeks

which wound in the days and disappeared ,

goodbye to this voice and that one stained

with amaranth , and goodbye

to the usual bed and plate ,

to the twilit setting of all goodbyes ,

to the chair that is part of the same twilight

to the way made by my shoes .

 

I spread myself , no question ;

i turned over whole lives ,

changed skin , lamps , and hates ,

it was something I had to do ,

not by law or whim ,

more of a chain reaction ;

each new journey enchained me ;

I took pleasure in places , in all places .

 

And , newly arrived , I promptly said  goodbye

with still newborn tenderness

as if the bread were to open and suddenly

flee from the world of the table .

So I left behind all languages ,

repeated goodbyes like an old door ,

changed cinemas , reasons and tombs ,

left everywhere for somewhere else ;

I went on being , and being always

half undone with joy ,

a bridegroom among sadnesses ,

never knowing how or when ,

ready to return , never returning .

 

It’s well known that he who returns never left ,

so I traced and retraced my life ,

changing clothes and planets ,

growing use to the company ,

to the great whirl of exile ,

to the great solitude of bells tolling .

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My Sun

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I sat watching on the sheepskin rug , watching as the desert invaded the room , invading my body becoming like the hollows of the rotating earth . I am tired . The houses gaze at each other with beige pueblo faces . I watch the wide sky , the soft ending lavender of it all . I was once married to a Christian , and once to an artist dead now , and once to a carpenter.

What is that boy doing pulling a skull along the street with a string ? Watching , there appears a light of pale pink from the moon so far away . And in that blush glow I hear my youngest son say , ” I sometimes miss my father “. How do you explain God to his own son ? It’s too much for me . I look down at my drooping breasts , the dark purple nipples he once suckled and the scent of crushed juniper berries passes into my memory , a memory of his father , his fathers paint and ink stained clothes , the very look of him , his gentleness ¬†, his father and I walking , walking as he takes the garden shears , clearing a way thru the woods , showing me the birds , the wildflowers , the sun . He hums a song by Jim Morrison , it was to be the last song I ever heard him sing . There was that place of his contentment surrounding his studio , a place now faceless , that place I cry about . It’s been twenty two years . He held my hand so tight before he left and I wanted to lay down on the ground and smell the mud in my nose . You were only five years old sleeping with batman on the wall over your bed .

I sat watching from a room in Santa Fe  , watching the night invade my life . I am tired . Your older brother hung himself on a stove pipe a year later , his body growing plump and rotten like palm wine before anyone found him alone in Brooklyn , alone on the Road of Perpetual Tears .

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In honor of Edward “Ted” Dickerson

June 1932 – February 1994

photos by Denise Thomasin Photography

When Did She Go

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The old paint on the canvas became transparent , when ? A tree appeared , when ? A tree inside the interior of the room , when ? And a dress with no one in it , when , floaters in a landscape , when ?

The narrator :

A repetition is seen , a repetition of a motif in different places , places where the lines suddenly possess music expressing a beautiful idea , ideas that sometimes become changed , replaced , painted over , the earlier ones disappearing , disappearing from view like all the questions Jack never asked Francie . And sometimes , sometimes the ghostly presence of older possibilities reemerge , a phantom code from an earlier universe , emerging like the voices of gods , ” you have a spirit inside of you “.

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Francies diary :

I didn’t love you well enough . Listening from across the street , I watched a man with a broom sweep the snow off his driveway , the sound strange . I thought of the ” umbrella girl ” ¬†selling trinkets while shuffling along the beach of Sayulita . The sound of her feet on the sand , sand drowned in the sun , the sun where the horizon was just an illusion . Those trinkets of silver , bangles , old keepsakes lost and strings with bells attached , attached to my mind like a fine portrait on the wall in a fine museum . And then I remembered all the doors of my life even the place where I saw people standing on a shore but not able to see what they were doing . They appeared so very tall , tall like a row of skyscrapers , tall like Seraphim , the fiery burning ones worshipping continually . I was exhilarated and terrified , that sound like the sound of snow and sand , terrified that my dead mother could now be one of them, one of the Seraphim , ¬†and that she was calling to take me to God . Tonight , as I write , a hymn now fills the sky , a hymn so clear and sweet , why didn’t you know that I loved you ?

Jack :

You , I saw you today for only a moment . You didn’t see me . You , standing alone in a parking lot near the drugstore . You , you standing in the almost frozen rain , the rain seeming to fall only on you . I felt the water come straight into my arms . It was raining you . You drove off very fast in your car when you once took only a slow path lasting one year . You I loved . I loved you .

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Narrator :

There is a drawing on white paper she left for me . A drawing of lines , curvy lines so small and naked in their expression . A self portrait with her wrist watch turned upside down . When , when did she do it , when ?

Credits : paintings by Meg Dekorne