FOREVER

“Twenty years ago,”
Robert Frost wrote,
referring to his “protégés”
in a letter recently unearthed,
“I wish I were rich
and independent enough
to tell them to go to hell.”
The tone is nasty, forbearing
for a “rustic sage”
who smelled of snow
& divergent woods of his childhood –
O such coldness of spirit
that would boast
of his “craft”,
& clandestinely scare
other poets,
& subliminally including himself –
even “crushed the poetic ambition
of his daughter Carol
who committed suicide,”
The observer chuckles
at the scurrilous infamy
of this wordsmith
who had lived his station
impervious to the hellish
turmoil of his chronicled heart.
Did he ever fall in love?
Sounds freaky
for those out to probe
the secret chamber
of his art?
He had married his secretary
after his wife’s demise…
Aesthetic indulgence
or libidinal ennui?
Old-fashioned love
or postmodern alienation?

2.
In Zizek’s follow-up
of a Marguerite Duras’s story,
the lovers wouldn’t
look into each other’s eyes,
but instead stare outside,
as if something bigger than
themselves
lurk in the horizon:
the Cause, the Collective’s –
that will bind them more
like welded steel…
Is it Eros
that is purely libidinal
(Che Guevara calls
ridiculous)
or the agape
to change humanity
stranded in the countryside
poised to cut through
the heavy foliage
that stands before
the utopian goal?
O love in the time of revolution!
O how insane,
almost totalitarian,
for unbelievers
to perish in the dream
for the common good!
The young cadre,
on a break from the region,
would not point to the word love
itself:
she’s a companion
in the journey to egalitarian rule…
O living dangerously
that Friedrich Nietzsche
would heartily approve –
The Superman
who would raise the bar
for the masses
trapped in the valley of unholy
good…

 

3.
So, of course,
this is the void
that lovers must confront –
in the barren landscape
they are twisted marble figures
in fitful embrace
as if bracing
for galactic storms:
Can one, after all,
hug a tree, a pennant, a stone,
never a human soul
that must carry on
with entangled hands
in the journey
toward the spectral future?
What if he/she falters
or falls by the wayside?
Forever is not a warranted word –
O the infamy of the Absolute
that informs
everything is written in the Kabbala
of stone…
Time decrees the rule
of changing seasons –
whatever the future brings
is foreseen existentially
in the smithy of Nietzschean

solitude…

 

4.
There they are:
the old lovers
who have fallen for each other’s
charm
in their twilight years:
both are pumped up
to make a go of what
the shadow in the labyrinth
would bring forth:
with blindfold caution,
they would grope
for their final definition
of what love is:
She, who must exorcise
the specter of her first lover
who had gone beyond
the tunnel of light;
he, who would cast
his eyes on the crimson horizon
where love is fury & emotion.
At the altar,
will they promise each other
like the juvenile Romeo & Juliet
to swear their hearts’
viaticum
while forever is only a wink away
from death & perdition?
How will memory disinhabit
the secret pain & longing?
The ordained warriors will
fall into the abyss
with eyes wide open
to welcome all tribulations
of love the second time around –
like Mandarins
they will efface the scars
of their summertime wound.

5.
O lovers know
the flesh is heir
to unbearable decay.
Love grows,
love dies…
So saying, he flirts
from one flower to another
in quest of his askewed
desire.
All mortals, he avers,
are forever in search
of their soul’s ideal –
Hopping from one conjugal rite
to another,
as if he were blessed
& privileged
to live a meaningless life
on earth
as per decree by the above:
where lies justice, then he asks?
But the other women
should wonder, too –
her heart seized by fear
& trembling;
life is too short
to let go of the fruits
in the Edenic garden.

 

6.
So surely,
biochemists are quick
to trace love & affection
to chemical secretion
that constitutes
puzzling fatal attraction…
O the empirical is all?
It happens naturally that way?
O what will be its
real definition?
What of the lifetime choice?
Happenstance or perdition?
The You & the I are in
constant flux,
transformation
with time as the emperor
that scripts rise & fall?
Is this the mystique of forever?
A notion of God
that is equivalent of perfect
continuum?
O love ends –
as physicists would tell,
the “final gleaning”
in time & space
that are slowly freezing?

 

7.
A.
He was a stray
who found shelter
in a household
that welcomes guests.
The old yaya
would feed the brutalized
with dutiful smile.
But she had to be hospitalized
for some bodily ailment
& her animals,
puzzled by her absence,
would amble into her room
as if to sniff
the stagnant gothic air.
The disappearance
of gentle hands
was too much to bear?
Brownie went missing
to hide in some shell
of a corner in the compound
after burying his bowl
as if to show
resentment & despair…
The guardian of the house
had to coax him out
of his hiding place
like a child
who refused his daily meal.
Nights before
the abode would fill
with animal cries:
when she came back,
a calm would eerily
settle down
like a cool, silent fog
& tails would crazily,
all over the place
wag.

 

B.
Kayenne would stoically
wait for him from his day job –
O cats, they say, can live alone.
But when he jangles his keys,
he would hear him
whine & scratch behind the door
as if he had been abandoned
far too long.
Once inside, he would
excitedly be underfoot,
his joy so visible to behold:

 

C.
Bugsy
would laze
like some pharaoh inside
his aluminum cage
which forbids him
from trespassing the territory
claimed by Kayenne.
He would rise up
for his special meal
after the kidney surgery
as if the guardian of the domicile
had played truant,
a stranger from exile.
O How his eyes
burn like white-hot coals
in the dark corners
of his mind –
this memory
of a feline
who turned the familial tribe
most human, benign, wise!

8.

If only he were rich,
the husband would send her

to a hospice
to care professionally
for her needs.
The doctor’s prognosis
was grim, non-negotiable.
But he was neck-deep
in debt at the office.
How do prayers ram down
heaven’s door?
His is a virtual avalanche
that could turn to stone!
The gates wouldn’t open,
no angel would dare peek out,
even curiously listen…
O He has tried to pump up
her spirit,
but she would rather let go
burdened by unbearable
pain & sorrow…
O How could he push himself
up from bed
to face the sun from darkness?
Her time on earth
is limited;
every moment must be cherished!
If only he could weep
like a child…
But the kids are watching,
he must gut it out
in these days & nights
of inconsolable grief…

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