May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
Have you read Plato’s Cratalyus? There’s a guy in it, I don’t remember his name, but he thinks that names are not arbitrary sounds, that names for things are arrived at because they somehow capture that thing in a way that no other name could. As if everyone, just by looking at the object, would arrive at the same name for it. Plato thinks that’s crazy of course, and maybe it is, but when I look at you I wonder.
Not many beautiful things have names that seem to capture the beauty of the thing, just in it’s name. Like beautiful is not really a beautiful word, per se. A heterological word. Neither is symphony really, or art, or…ocean. Or ceiling. Ceilings are beautiful things but ceiling is a horribly ugly word. For examples. Maybe window is a beautiful name for a beautiful thing. Wouldn’t you name it that? If you didn’t know it was called a window? Wouldn’t you look at it – or through it, rather – and say of course that’s called a window. Because it sounds sort of transparent. Revealing. Like you can sort of speak through it. It’s a perfect word for a window, window. Your name is like that, like window. Your name holds you inside it. Did you know that? It holds you. Somehow. Unexplainably somehow. The way that Beethoven’s Sixth can somehow sound like the most beautiful pasture even though pastures don’t actually sound anything like an orchestra or tonal harmony. Or the way Autumn Jazz looks exactly like autumn jazz sounds. I swear I knew your name before I knew your name. A name that sounds with perfect balance. All those a’s. Like Canada. Except but then the epilogue. The y. Like a coda. Softening the brief movements that precede it. Giving it a wholeness. Making it linger in your mouth for the briefest moment like the taste of kiss you don’t want to end. I want to hold it. Your name. Or lay upon it. Cover up with it. Surround myself with it. Crawl into it. Bury myself in it. And live there. Sometimes I think I do.
Do you ever think about what you would look like from an aerial photograph? I think you’d look like some kind of fountain. Or geyser. The way your hair looks as if every strand is in motion all the time. Pouring. Spiraling downward. Or perhaps upward. You couldn’t tell from a photograph. So you could be a vortex, instead of a fountain. What color is your hair? It’s a metaphysical enigma, the color of your hair. Anyone who thinks that colors are queer in the way they seem to exist simultaneously in various locations but in the same form has never seen your hair. Because your hair is the color of no other colored thing. Looking at it is looking at something that is completely unique in this world. There are not many things that work like that. Perceptual experiences which are wholly unique. Not even many faces. But your hair is one. One of the few. And God is it a gorgeous one. It is royal, is really the only way to describe it. Royal.
What color are your eyes? You have chameleon eyes. They follow the same sort of enigma as your hair. Except they are capable of shift. They keep your soul from being seen. You are lucky for that I think. They keep secrets. Why did I never tell you until this morning that you have beautiful eyes? I think it all the time. If sometimes when we are talking and I seem distracted it’s more often than not because I am contemplating your eyes. They are terribly distracting eyes. Wonderfully so. Sometimes while we are making love I get the feeling like you are tasting me with your eyes. Can you taste with your eyes? I think maybe you can. Don’t you think it’s fantastic that I and eye are homophones in English? I think that’s fantastic.
Your mouth is a vowel. Your mouth is a nocturne. Your mouth is the answer to the question. Your mouth is a palette where all the colors of paint have been mixed together but miraculously instead of turning black it just becomes the color of all colors, still separate but all mixed together. Your mouth is a petrichor. Your mouth is an echo. Your mouth is all the dying vibrations of all the strings that have ever been or will ever be plucked or bowed or strummed. Your mouth is the coast. Your mouth is a library. Your mouth is circle with corners. Your mouth is endlessness. Your mouth is a hiding place for shy light.
The hair on your body is like moss after rain. Sweet and wet and soft and one of the only things that makes me think there might be just maybe a God. What could be more juxtaposed and but also so perfect as moss on the stone, of the beautiful hardness of the rock covering itself in soft carpet, not revealing its gems to the world but holding them secret. Sometimes a strand gets caught in my teeth. Or in my throat. It tickles. It is not unpleasant.
I cannot write songs about you.
When I first saw you you wore a red dress. Which is fatal. Red dresses. But your dress was not a ‘red dress,’ proper. It was quirky. Quarky. Like somehow the color didn’t make sense for the dress, or the dress didn’t make sense for the color. But it made sense on you, in a way that doesn’t make sense. You wore boots. You were zany looking. I love that about you. God fucking shit it’s one of my favorite things about you, how utterly zany you always look.
I don’t know why I was so mean to you at first, the horrible way I led you on and then backed you off. You know when you learn something and it’s so utterly vital and important and you know that you have to accept it and by accepting it you need to change your whole life starting with the very next breath, because of something you’ve learned, but you don’t right away, you can’t, because you’re sort of in shock, because you could have never foreseen it, and it’s hard accepting things into your life you could not have foreseen, because when you do that you feel a loss of freedom. Even though accepting the unforeseen willingly is the very thing that defines whatever freedom we have.
You are not elegant. I wouldn’t call you elegant. But you have a certain elegance, like a liquid, the way you exist in space. The way you move. It’s not graceful. But grace is contrived. Liquid isn’t graceful either. But it moves more beautifully than anything else on the plant. Liquid does. And you move like liquid. You exist like liquid.
I want to be the man you want to love.
What are you? What are you? You are a universe. You are a world. You are a fact. You are a mystery. You are my love for you. You are my words right now. And my thoughts. You the keys of the piano. And the notes they make. And the chords. And the songs.
What could I dedicate to you? What would be enough? What would be enough short of a life?
-March 18, 2008
December 12, 2010 § Leave a comment
“I walked out of the Met Towers on 57th street and lit a Nat Sherman. Everyone was staring at me. I had just gotten out of the shower and hadn’t spiked my mohawk, which I had recently bleached and died pink. I was wearing sweat pants, my bright yellow Troop 642 t-shirt from my days in the world’s most oppressive organization, a leather jacket and aviators. The bridge and tunnel crowd was out – Saturday in midtown – no one complains when they’re the Bennys. I overheard a woman say, ‘for sure, for sure’ and her daughter respond ‘if there ever was one!’ as they were walking passed me and I got paranoid that they were Jerseys who thought I was a homosexual. I went into Duane Reade to get some delicious beverages. I also bought almond m&ms. I walked back to the apartment and walked in the door. The doorman recognized me and asked how I was, which made me feel special. I opened the m&ms in the elevator on the way to the 50th floor and when I got back to Cora’s, I ate them with chopsticks. We talked about More and Lots for a while and we both admitted that we felt better, since we hadn’t talked about More and Lots in about a week.”
– May 20, 2006