the-quixote-of-the-cowboy-prince

“If You Forget Me”

I want you to know
one thing. 

You know how this is: 
if I look 
at the crystal moon, at the red branch 
of the slow autumn at my window, 
if I touch 
near the fire 
the impalpable ash 
or the wrinkled body of the log, 
everything carries me to you, 
as if everything that exists, 
aromas, light, metals, 
were little boats 
that sail 
toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 

Well, now, 
if little by little you stop loving me 
I shall stop loving you little by little. 

If suddenly 
you forget me 
do not look for me, 
for I shall already have forgotten you. 

If you think it long and mad, 
the wind of banners 
that passes through my life, 
and you decide 
to leave me at the shore 
of the heart where I have roots, 
remember 
that on that day, 
at that hour, 
I shall lift my arms 
and my roots will set off 
to seek another land. 

But 
if each day, 
each hour, 
you feel that you are destined for me 
with implacable sweetness, 
if each day a flower 
climbs up to your lips to seek me, 
ah my love, ah my own, 
in me all that fire is repeated, 
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 
my love feeds on your love, beloved, 
and as long as you live it will be in your arms 
without leaving mine. 

Pablo Neruda

Sonnet XLIV


You must know that I do not love and that I love you,
because everything alive has its two sides;
a word is one wing of silence,
fire has its cold half.

I love you in order to begin to love you,
to start infinity again
and never to stop loving you:
that’s why I do not love you yet.

I love you, and I do not love you, as if I held
keys in my hand: to a future of joy-
a wretched, muddled fate-

My love has two lives, in order to love you:
that’s why I love you when I do not love you,
and also why I love you when I do.
From “100 Love Sonnets” (Cien sonetos de amor)
~ By Pablo Neruda

Sonnet XLIV


You must know that I do not love and that I love you,
because everything alive has its two sides;
a word is one wing of silence,
fire has its cold half.

I love you in order to begin to love you,
to start infinity again
and never to stop loving you:
that’s why I do not love you yet.

I love you, and I do not love you, as if I held
keys in my hand: to a future of joy-
a wretched, muddled fate-

My love has two lives, in order to love you:
that’s why I love you when I do not love you,
and also why I love you when I do.


From “100 Love Sonnets” (Cien sonetos de amor)
~ By Pablo Neruda

“the Declaration of Longevity”

    Its long since I  glided

my fingers across the mossy woven surface

of that wet river rock reaching towards you,

since I drank from the sweet nectar carbonation

dandelion wine tingly fizz fuzz

of your chipotle pink lips,

& it’s been even longer since

we talked sitting on stoops,

or sinking into the warm tiles of roofs,  talking

  well past the moment, when

the sun dissolves its presense

slowly

slipping

out of view,

Since we watched it milk

every single moment of its departure, with such

colorful classy

devil-may-care, that we

can’t help

but care 

& whisper

a little prayer 

that we’ll rise  & see it again for at least

another day:

 We become so humble (we’re afraid) to ask

for forever.

& then after color speck, splashes and strokes 

become cloaked in night’s crepuscular esculation

you flash your teeth at me

and fill the night deep

in moonshine,

I become so enraptured, I become completly

unafraid to whisper:

“Forever.”

If I had one wish this morning 

it would be to spend this night

armed with a butterfly net & a mason jar

running as quixotically as I can

chasing after the glowing

fireflies of your voice.

If I could, I’d only need to catch

just one, 

& then I’d poke holes in the lid & then

carefully lie on the dewey ground

with one ear puddled against the glass

Happily I’d fall asleep this way, with my ears

tickling with the reverberations of your voice

whispering: 

“I’ll see you again someday." 

-C.C.U. 

“Absence”

On the scales of desire, your absence weighs more
than someone else’s presence, so I say no thanks

to the woman who throws her girdle at my feet, 
as I dropp a postcard in the mailbox and watch it

throb like a blue heart in the dark. Your eyes
are so green – one of your parents must be

part traffic light. We’re both self-centered, 
but the world revolves around us at the same speed.

Last night I tossed and turned inside a thundercloud.
This morning my sheets were covered in pollen.

I remember the long division of Saturday’s
pomegranate, a thousand nebulae in your hair, 

as soldiers marched by, dragging big army bags
filled with water balloons, and we passed a lit match, 

back and forth, between our lips, under an oak tree
I had absolutely nothing to do with. 

-Jeffrey McDaniel
Del Aire al Aire

…Someone waiting for me among the violins

found a world like a sunken tower

digging its spiral deeper than all

the leaves the color of hoarse sulfur:

and deeper still, into geologic gold,

like a sword sheathed in meteors,

I plunged my turbulent and tender hand

into the most genital terrestrial territory.

I leaned my head into the deepest waves,

I sank through the sulfuric peace,

and, like a blind man, returned to the jasmine

of the exhausted human springtime.

-Pablo Neruda

(excerpt from ’Del Aire Al Aire“, from the Alturas De Macchu Picchu: I)

“Oysters”

Our shells clacked on the plates.
My tongue was a filling estuary,
My palate hung with starlight:
As I tasted the salty Pleiades
Orion dipped his foot into the water.

Alive and violated
They lay on their beds of ice:
Bivalves: the split bulb
And philandering sigh of ocean.
Millions of them ripped and shucked and scattered.

We had driven to the coast
Through flowers and limestone
And there we were, toasting friendship,
Laying down a perfect memory
In the cool thatch and crockery.

Over the Alps, packed deep in hay and snow,
The Romans hauled their oysters south to Rome:
I saw damp panniers disgorge
The frond-lipped, brine-stung
Glut of privilege

And was angry that my trust could not repose
In the clear light, like poetry or freedom
Leaning in from the sea. I ate the day
Deliberately, that its tang
Might quicken me all into verb, pure verb.

-Seamus Heaney