Sunday, July 18, 2010

Coming Apart

"It is this admirable, this immortal, instinctive sense of beauty that leads us to look upon the spectacle of this world as a glimpse, a correspondence with heaven. Our unquenchable thirst for all that lies beyond, and that life reveals, is the liveliest proof of our immortality. It is both by poetry and through poetry, by music and through music, that the soul dimly descries the splendors beyond the tomb; and when an exquisite poem brings tears to our eyes, those tears are not a proof of overabundant joy: they bear witness rather to an impatient melancholy, a clamant demand by our nerves, our nature, exiled in imperfection, which would fain enter into immediate possession, while still on this earth, of a revealed paradise."
- Charles Baudelaire

I hunger for a change. The first time a revealed paradise actually seemed possible to me, I committed to a new way of life. I know I am not the only one. American history is peppered with utopian movements. When my Hippie brethren went to the countryside they were in that time worn American tradition. A certain kind of revolutionary found world wide will ache and then work hard to impose a utopia on us all if he can, certain we will thank him for it once it is up and running. Communists and socialists, but also the more extreme forms of capitalists all do this. I am not different in my yearning, though I may be different in what I yearn for. These revolutionaries are not only the politically motivated; they are not even primarily political. Most utopias are of a religious or spiritual nature.

As I wrote in this next poem, such sentiment, such motivation is not only at the social level. However, I am fragile, and I know it.

Coming Apart

That single rusty
nail you placed on the table
beside my rocking
chair gives me concern
that something's about to come
down, some essential
piece of me is loose,
will fall off if I get up,
try to follow you.

June 14, 2009 8:29 AM


  1. I am often surprised by things that bring me to tears. They seem incongruous with that which I assume would make me sad. But this....this..."they bear witness rather to an impatient melancholy, a clamant demand by our nerves" makes so much sense to me. Things lying so far beneath the surface that only a certain alignment of elements can bring about their mourning at such a time it can be handled. Interesting piece!

  2. The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel brings me to tears nearly every time.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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