02 December, 2005


At the Division street stop on the subway this morning, the most awful feeling suddenly seized me. It was a combination of the book I was re-reading, the chime that goes with that smug recorded bastard admonishing, "doors closing," and memories of the high-low "bong, bong" of my claustrique* NYC morning commute. Perhaps the smell of vomit, cold air, and garlic breath played a part. The awful feeling: a deep longing to smell jet fuel, drink coffee 'till the heart burns, and listen patiently, contentedly, with aching ass, for the beep that signals I'm now free to move about the cabin.

These past few days I've been missing my wandering adventurous past. Firmly rooted by (comparative) poverty, I have the its-that-time-of-year agains. For visceral, inexplicable reasons, there are certain places I need to visit frequently (Paris, New York, New Orleans); the longer I'm away, the more brutish I become, and the more I feel the whoosh of air from Death's train in the subway station of life. I can't conceive of any opportunity for pilgrimage in a moveable window of 6 months - each day, until I am [more] gainfully employed, the 6 months is shifted, and has been 6 months for 7 months now. Maybe if I edit (redact) my travelogherrias and memoirettes, and post them here, I can calm down a bit.

Lingering again over at livejournal, I tumbled across a Joseph Brodsky chunk, and fell instantly in lust with it. It does not help this spiritual indigestion. I've slopped it onto the epage below.

Maybe its time for a roadtrip to... hmm... Detroit.


May 24, 1980

I have braved, for want of wild beasts, steel cages,
carved my term and nickname on bunks and rafters,
lived by the sea, flashed aces in an oasis,
dined with the-devil-knows-whom, in tails, on truffles.
From the height of a glacier I beheld half a world, the earthly
width. Twice have drowned, thrice let knives rake my nitty-gritty.
Quit the country the bore and nursed me.
Those who forgot me would make a city.
I have waded the steppes that saw yelling Huns in saddles,
worn the clothes nowadays back in fashion in every quarter,
planted rye, tarred the roofs of pigsties and stables,
guzzled everything save dry water.
I've admitted the sentries' third eye into my wet and foul
dreams. Munched the bread of exile; it's stale and warty.
Granted my lungs all sounds except the howl;
switched to a whisper. Now I am forty.
What should I say about my life? That it's long and abhors transparence.
Broken eggs make me grieve; the omelette, though, makes me vomit.
Yet until brown clay has been rammed down my larynx,
only gratitude will be gushing from it.

1980, translated by the author. (To protect the innocent , this is also at

* Yes, I invented yet another silly stupid word. I didn't want the idea of phobia to enter the image, and I was too on-a-roll [read: too fucking lazy] to search my head for the mot juste. Half-hearted apologies.

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