I could not say what floor it was —
because I did not know
what floor I lived on —
only that it was the floor above
where silence seemed to dwell —
unless it was because I could not hear
what was there
because of the noise of others
who lived with me.
It did not have a pretty or a friendly face —
instead the faces where I lived
were filled with images of things
I feared —
and a television against a wall —
the chatter of petty minds and petty faces
the constant hum and drum behind the wall —
which I ignored —
for it was nothing more than noise to me.
But it had a telephone —
which reached another world —
the world of those I loved —
those no longer here
but whose messages I could hear.
They were both beautiful and tragic
and reminded me of the life they lived.
Love erased in a single moment
haunted eternally by the voice of those they loved —
recorded on a telephone.
They pretended to be happy
their voices filled with enthusiasm
hopeful the ancient ones they had loved
found and loved again
but not without a hint of uncertainty —
that kind of hope.
Nonetheless it was persuasive
and so, I plastered them to my body —
like a shield —
the landscape of what I feared.
Not too high, not too low.
Close enough to the ground
but not far above it.
Not as high as the sky
but high enough to see the sky —
The middle ground.
High enough to see the branches of a tree —
the people who grow beneath them —
the voices and the traffic on the street
under the sun and under the moon —
touch the sky.
In a land by the sea between the living and the dead —
I saw a familiar man —but could not be sure who he was —
The sun traveled inside and poured from his face
as he approached with a friendly gait —
a handsome man —
but whose beauty was secondary to the jacket he wore —
a shade of green, not too dark, not too bright —
the length shorter than is customary for a man
reached the edge of the spine.
I marvelled how different it was from anything I had seen —
and knew its touch was something I could not leave behind —
The man in green — who was otherwise modestly dressed —
took pride in the craftsmanship of this vessel of his —
and opened the door to an inner world —
where major keys lay bare inside —
and saw it was not finished yet.
What is a writer, if nothing more than a pair of eyes, absorbing information from the environment, experiencing it, processing it, and finally expressing those perceptions through language? There are exceptions, of course, at least in theory. Educated claims, made by persons devoted to understanding a riddle, plucked and gleaned from limited resources, but which without all the pieces of the puzzle, despite dedication, are the valleys and peaks of scholarly visions. But this is the nature of curiosity and passion — a relentless pursuit for answers, the truth. These attempts are by no means futile or insignificant, but help construct a semi-coherent picture of what may have been. The intention to distinguish fact from myth is a noble pursuit.
And so, the subject which has rightfully fascinated investigators since antiquity, a trend which will likely continue indefinitely, is Homer, the greatest epic poet of all time. Linguistic variations of his epic poems suggest that Homer may have not authored both The Iliad and The Odyssey. But then again, investigators can only place his birth between a span of time, centuries apart. Just think of that. Not decades but centuries. Now that is what I would call a huge mystery. And one must not forget that these works were based on an oral tradition, so once again, there are more questions than answers. Homer was also presumably blind. Really? That’s an incredible claim. Perhaps he suffered from an eye disease later in life. Science has proven that eye diseases prevail in later life. And so, the verdict is out on that one, and for good reason, for it leads to a simple but significant question: How could a poet perceive what he expressed without the use of his eyes? My guess is that Milton would throw that theory into the trash.
I nudge my cardiovascular system by extending my daily journey from the Dark Kitchen Room to The Light Room Of Many Windows and the kitchen and the light room of many windows and…the… It sure is bright in there. There’s a world of difference between them. Both serve a purpose. But really. Who would choose to volunteer for such an experiment? The Study Of Adaptation From The Perspective Of Extremes.
Once I complete the journey, I’m back to my steadfast routine. Sometimes I cook. But mostly, I nurse a mug of espresso and consume lots of cigarettes and swirl ideas above my head. The dark kitchen room is a good way to transition from sleep to wakefulness. It has no light. Not a single window. And some icons covered in spider-webs stuck in a corner. It’s thoroughly dank. However, you never have to fear you’ll wake up blinded down here. It’s impossible.
Along with the diet of dank corners, you get to experience and taste dank thoughts. Who would’ve ever thought you’d end up doing this? I see one hand raised. Great. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
It’s no different than living in a cave – though I have never lived in one. The chief resemblance is the dampness, the darkness, the absence of life. So you finally understand your sole mission and what isn’t. It was not as you had imagined. There were no ballerinas there. There were no canvases filled with brilliant colors. However, music was the nearby thread to the world of Living things. Some of the music was dank. But most of it wasn’t.