PARABOLA

1.
$31 thou
for “security arrangements
of fake paintings
by “Elmer de Hory’s ‘Odalisque”,
Han Van Meegerla’s ‘The Head
of Christ’,”
& others who earned millions
for duplicating originals
of “modern masterpieces”
which “are now worthless.”
The bartender
could only scratch his head
why he didn’t get
into the gallery racket
instead of toiling away
into the wee hours
of the night
to earn a pretty penny
& feed his soul & belly…
& he remembers
the craft of poetry itself,
where love poems
sell at a high premium
that drive all into a frenzy
like some madness
that swamps the crowd,
so happily turned on,
observably crazy
as if gripped in a delirium
of words,
allegedly
meant to be
as the poet delivers
to the addressee…
Now, did the poet
mean what he said?
Passion comes cheap
these days
& love comes easier
with chocolates & flowers,
as if words should camouflage
seduction & carnal ecstasy.
Did he lie then?
Time shifts radically
on the terrain of kaleidoscopic truth
that dazzles wherever it could.

2.
O passion is most abused
by fictionists & poets
who invent surface mirrors
of the soul
but will not pay for the crimes
of falsely claiming
the unnamable,
even the inexplicable…
How does one come up
with Sartre’s Being & Nothingness?
Are they perceptible,
concrete?
Only signifiers to create existence?
O Only philosophers
could claim to have pinned down
the hypothesized noumena of truth
according to the mode of proofing
the theorem
of their puzzlement, whatever
is good.
O Words lie
& serve to camouflage
the common mind
that can only skim
the surface of the ocean,
within the measure
of their heart’s fear
& trembling
in darkness’s concentric empire.

3.
Did Pablo Neruda,
the young poet then
behind the “Veinte Poemas
de Amor & Una Cancion
Desesperada,”
lie about passion?
Did he see anything strangely
real & true
from what the common mind
failed to fathom
as the skewed vision
of the heart’s
throbbing madness?
Is it all blindness
about love & longing
that will never be consoling?
Did he change his view
in his old age
when passion cools down
like the doused embers
at the fire
on the beach
where hearts snore
to flinted lullaby?
Did he really suffer
the disease of melancholia?
Old age isn’t wisdom
on the verge of unfolding:
a journey toward
the dreaded end
which eventually doesn’t matter.
O love dies,
forgetting rules the realm
of knowing
& we are consoled
by the blankness of the page
of our mind & heart…
Poets can only rage
like Canute
who challenges the waves
engulfing his sandcastle.

4.
What love poem
is perfectly real?
Can Sigmund Freud & Jacques Lacan
turn poets
with eyes wide open
as they gaze into the labyrinth
of the human heart?
Can they really throw
the light of the sun
on the spectral dark
& reveal ghosts
of desire
as if they were a mathematical
mark?
Is it blinders
that possess the mind
that forces young & old lovers
to stray into the edge
of the abyss?
Romeo & Juliet
dying in each other’s arms
to jumpstart
all romances that
still dazzle
as if desire is worth
all the juvenile dying!
Hear, lovers only copy
the knotty entanglement
of all white-hot couples
in the journey through
medieval war zone!

5.
Does love really exist?
There will always be
witnesses
who will swear by it,
this immemorial truism
since Adamic creation
& old stories
to scuttle any
sloganeering opposition…
Maudlin songs that claim
only love is the answer
& wars & revelations
can only be stopped
by the simple injunction
fit to be ignored
because so formulaic a solution…
To light a candle
at the bottom of the valley
is never the parabolic Rx
fathomed
by wiser men,
only idiots
who pray & wish for
mystical salvation…

6.
You like someone
for all her worth,
the bartender smiles –
his mind redolent
with the history of rise & fall
he must have known
like the back of his hand.
He could only chuckle
at how young lovers
stand in the shadow
of the moon
as the world like Hegel’s
is turned upside down.
O the snake
that bites its tail
to settle the eternal paradigm!
We all fall down?
How can wisdom
start at the beginning
in the pyre of passion?
Could we have changed
direction,
tweaked our paltry lives
at the start?
When the future
is so distant,
a mirage in the horizon?

7.
O Today is all
that should matter,
lovers say.
The present is infinity
itself;
tomorrow is
a footpath toward heaven’s door
where prophets live
with a sense of doom
& torture.
That is all lovers can
hope for –
that they be blest
until the first cut
& first tear erase
what was memorable,
now beyond recall…
O We plunge headlong
into the vortex of a storm
we can never comprehend,
our hearts lost
in empty expectation:
All fall down,
like the Edenic residents –
dutiful Eve & disloyal Adam…

8.
How he would sit
in his rocking chair
to listen to the radio
sad, sentimental songs
of lovers lost & seasons gone
to enliven
his vanishing imagination.
Should he stick
to his bad habit
that echoes
tears & fear,
as if it would set him
free from his imagined
incarceration
in time & memory’s affliction?
He stands slowly
as though pushed toward
an exit door:
He had his fill of sorrow?
As if stricken with nausea
that rose up
from his belly,
he could be sentimental
to a certain poem,
until he felt suffocated
by the miasma of despair
& solitude.
O The mind should never
inhabit a fixed
time zone of sadness
& empty beatitude!

9.
Every dude in Hollywood
says
he was brilliant.
But he died of heroin OD.
Sad.
But cynics abound
to dismiss his Tinseltown death
not as tragic but pathetic.
Where were his friends?
They didn’t know:
Was he so intelligent
not to realize
he was wont to kill himself?
But people have secret lives.
On the fast lane, speed
is one order of things.
O Drugs kept him going.
nothing mattered –
(if this) were a love poem
he had written it
with his blood…
To perish on the needle,
romance the self
is the ultimate high…

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