When he said, let’s break everything, in the name of poetry –

We raised our glasses, rejoiced, repeated – and believed it

I did not expect you to then turn around and break me.

But that invitation did occur to me

Especially when you said you needed to break free

People say that I make sweeping statements

Be careful of what you wish for

And don’t tempt fate

The goddesses are angry and they don’t take prayers lightly

When you swept me up into your promise

I was ready to believe

All the letters and messages and emails and gifts

I accepted them like a first kiss

With Hope

I did not want to resist

I wanted to digest you

Consume you

Fill my belly with the meat of you

Let your flesh combine with mine

If only on the off chance that your flesh would heal me

Feed me with all the good stuff that my body needed to stay alive

You promised to keep me healthy

I was scared but I asked – what do you want from me?

This broken body has very little to offer to a person who has had their awakening

But when you flattered me with your love

I drowned in the possibility

That I could potentially be

You’re breaking point.

Your epiphany.

God did not reveal herself only to leave me alone

She met me there to show me that conversations are a two way street

That religion is not spirituality but faith

And faith cannot be broken by a broken heart alone

Or even a very bad fight

And even though words are violent

Sometimes I feel that speaking them is better than remaining silent

Love is a war fought only between lovers

Love is a battlefield, Pat.

I cannot fight if there is no love to fight for

I would not struggle without something to struggle for

I would not want to die less there was something to die for

When I said – let’s break everything

I heard the crack of the bone in your chest

And I wanted to smash my hand into my own

To pluck out, not that stupid Apple, but a bone

To support us both as we caved into the weight of

The unbearable lightness of our being.

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San Francisco Kid

July 25th, 2000

San Mateo, San Francisco

 

Conrado is my new friend. Found him on North Beach. He is a photographer. His friend is from Brazil or maybe he is. He offers me his name, it’s free, I take it and give back mine. It’s a fair trade. We trade stories. My life, his life, their lives, only little bits. Highlights, City Lights, Insights. A photographer, eh, what do you like taking pictures of, I ask as he snaps and steals my image. I’ll never see that again. I can’t help but react. How to be yourself? They laugh.  Brazil is obviously used to the attention, Conrado’s got an exhibition on in Vesuvio’s/ It’s a nice pub, just across from that famous book store, Laurence Ferlenghetti’s. Beatnik, Beat Poet, Beat Generation filling station. One by one I meet the North Beach Mafia, Jerry an Irish man, his friend wears a baret which comes from Basque. He shows me it’s many uses. It’s a versatile black hat worn by a Sicilian elder. He lights my cigarette with matches that he owns but he himself doesn’t smoke. Nobody smokes around here. What is with California? It’s freezing, the wind’s picked up and outside Puccini’s Cafe my cappuccino has gone cold, the froth has sunken. The Sicilian begins to rant – what is art? What is Talent? Because I tell him about this exhibition I saw at MOMO earlier on that day. Bill Viola – 25 years Retrospective, video artiste. That’s not art, I could have done that. That’s what they all say. Concepts, it’s all to do with concepts, I insist slightly playing Devil’s Advocate. He begins to tell a story about a guy who made copies of famous works of art. He copied Van Gaugh’s with some success, like Midnight Cafe and the Japanese owned Sunflowers. Now that’s talent, he exclaims. I couldn’t do that!