Friday, February 8, 2013

Smorgasbord: Overflow, Quiet Worlds, Kisses



"Everyone else seems to have the brakes on… I never feel the brakes. I overflow.”
 ~Ana├»s Nin to Henry Miller

This sentence sums up my life. I incline towards the excessive. Overflow of thoughts, of words, of a vague indifference, of solitude, of fernweh, of yearnings, of independence, of anger, of songs, of poems, of a sense of wonder, of impulsiveness, of caring, of travels, of determination, of dreams, of books, of quietness, of volubility, of happiness, of melancholy, of laughter, of hopes, and of love. The brakes are defunct, vestigial. It isn't obvious; everyone sees the invisible walls of restraints that i put up, inhabiting a narrow world of measured words and actions. That's a perception i don't try to correct; a very few people can be accommodated in my inner world, the one without any brakes; they know this world, and it's enough.
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If it was possible, i would curl up for a nap in a poem. I would gobble a poem whole. I would plant millions of poems around me, and pluck them at will. I would stuff  poem in a pillow and let it caress me every night. I might even allow a poem to put coffee stains on my books. That's how a good poem makes me feel.

I want to share two of my favorite poems by Jeffrey McDaniel tonight. 'The Quiet World' is in sync with the wordless love I am forced to live, having brakes on for the first time in my life. I am a mute lover. Unsaid words die in my mouth every night as I wait. 'The Archipelago of Kisses' is a encyclopedia of this endearing gesture of love. May the pants of the people who claim that they don't like kisses drop in public! From an overflow to relative scarcity, from meaningless to being steeped with meaning, from fleeting ones to the ones that claim you, from sloppy to sensuous, from dizzying to a comforting habit; kisses grow with us. I still wait for the 'I will love you through a brick wall' kiss and 'I will swim through the Earth for you' kiss; have you found that mouth yet?



The Quiet World

In an effort to get people to look
into each other's eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn't respond,
I know she's used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

(Pics Courtesy: 1. Overflow painting by Natalie Houston; Pics from Google Images)

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