Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Cloisters

Ah…the neverending story…the magic book that opens like big wooden doors to another world, a world of wonder and fantasy…a world beyond and below our world…a world like water, like dreaming, like unending possibilities. Open and full of possibility. Open and full of possibility. Open and full of possibility. Fragrant. Buoyant. Floating on the back of a soft white creature with big eyes, long lashes, whiskers and a smile. I remembered the Cloisters when you were talking. I remembered the cold soft marble, the boxy blocks of stone stacked in the forest in Harlem. I remembered the long winding road around the Cloisters. I remembered the gardens, the courtyards and the unicorn tapestries. I remembered the beam of light reaching up from the top of my head to the source above and I remembered the connection, the long narrow glass cylinder connecting me to you and I remembered warmth. The touch of a hand on my face, fitted in the curve, hand to check, concave and supporting. I remembered being held, head in hand, and the feeling I chase, so near, so here, in your hand.

I was thinking as I drove here, it’s the feeling I chase, not the person, the place or the aspiration. It’s the feeling I chase and I tried to remember the feeling of the feelings I had before the feeling I have now and I got so lost and so scared and I started to cry and I couldn’t stop and my head was heavy and my head hurt and all I could say was, I can’t remember. I can’t remember. And he asked me what was wrong and I couldn’t explain and I can never quite explain it because it is so beyond words, so beyond my grasp, so beyond the hammers, and nails and wood that I could use to build something real and tangible.

There is a dilapidated house nearby. It is black on the inside – not the color, but the feeling – and it needs to be gutted like the smooshed squirrel on Canoga Blvd. and it needs to be squeezed of its contents, purged of its insides, and it needs to be rebuilt and restored and re-imagined on the inside and it needs a new story. It needs a non-falling down, peeling off, bubbling up, crooked story. It needs a smooth hard-wood floor, stainless steel appliances, infinity pool story, and it needs dozens of flowers and flora and other botanical words that I would have to look up in a text book and I need the house, and I need the work and I need to put myself into the hammers and nails and wood and I need to build something and I need to write something and I need to bathe under the Tuscan sun like someone who needed that long before I did and I need to carry stone and I need to uncover fresco and I need to dig out an old bathtub and fill it by hand and slide into it and sink into it and bathe in it until I wrinkle.

My head is lighter now, it’s more open, my spine is taller now, it’s more straight, but my path is still winding and I still have that lost look in my eyes that you pointed out in the picture of me in the mango grove. Will you take my picture? Will you take my picture over and over again while I close my eyes, think blissful thoughts and smile to myself? Will you make me a beautiful floating Buddha in the colored water with garments like jellyfish arms around me? Will you make me famous? Will you immortalize me? Embalm me in some fragrant solution? Will you capture me and contain me like the flowers in the Cloister’s garden?

Underneath the bedrock is cold running water. And under the cold running water is stone. And on the stone is soft fluorescent green moss like pubic hair on the bone. And in the cold dark water, sultry seductive mermaids are swimming, waiting, infusing the water with lines of electricity that run down my legs and into my toes and give me the tingling feeling that I have when I stand on the edge of something tall and look down and I want you to catch me, And I want you to be there, and I want to melt into you like the serpent in the grass and I want our love to be biblical and I want it to be grandiose and I want it to be ridiculous like a Fellini movie. And I want to laugh and I want to cry and I want to throw myself in the dirt and roll around like a child but most of all, I want to give myself to you. I want to bend at the waist, arms outstretched, heart in my hands, eyes lowered and give myself to you, wanting nothing but your acceptance in return.

1 comment: said...

Well, I don't get it.

Is it the feeling of the dance or moving towards or the dance, or is it the person ya dance with--the being inside the dance that's the thing to be craved?

In the beginning it's the feeling; by the end it's the dance and the dancer.

Since you're past beginnings, middles, and ends -- which is it now, which likely to stay . . . ?

Ever live beneath The Cloisters? Now that's protection -- the stone and the art and the wood all on mountain of rock up above, good luck to the A Train down below, a soft deep reading voice snuggled up in the dark and the island of Manhattan running for miles beneath you.

Nothin' much better 'n' that . . .