Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was an intense guy.
We found him in some mom & pop Mexican place in San Antonio,
scribbling on a napkin, 
burning the place down wherever he parked his heart.

We paid for his breakfast.
Ginny let her shawl fall off one shoulder,
and the guy looked like he might slip right into her skin
and stay there, if he could have.

There is always something feminine about a man who can write;
something feminine, too, about a man who really adores women.
We sense it.
We're like birds who see our island and head for it without another thought.
I'm not saying he wasn't a man--
Ginny couldn't shut up about him, the rest of the trip,
like he had lit her, and she kept going off in spectacular colors.

The bluebonnets were out, in all the fields by the highway.
They only grow in Texas, and we stopped to stretch out in them,
drown in them
like a bunch of boho dolphins, sleek and weird,
gloriously out of our element.

When we got close to Dallas, we stopped in Waxahachie.
Ginny was asleep in the back, and Neruda stayed with her,
his arm around her like a mesquite branch across the early sun.
She was wearing red, and if you ask me,
he wanted to suck her like a strawberry, 
but was too protective of her Gypsy dreams to wake her.

At the washeteria, we scavenged empty soap jugs
and weaseled a last load out of them.
Federico Garcia Lorca was there, half sprawled across two plastic chairs,
high as a kite, his hair a mess, his mind a marvel of the age.
I kissed him as a sister would,
to get him to join us, and he did.
I kept close, whispering him my poems,
taking the wheel as we crossed north into Oklahoma.

You will find the right man, I told him,
even though he didn't speak English.
In Spanish, he told me I had already found the right woman,
but that she was hidden,
riding in the night-pocket of God's long sweater,
howling at the stars.

That was when I knew I liked Federico better,
though I was careful never to let Neruda see it.
Anyway, he had Ginny,
and we all had the white stripes going by beneath our wheels,
the warm southern air,
and our four heartbeats which came together for a while
in the unlikely, gorgeous perfection
of our uncommon common language.
__________
  
for Kerry's Pablo Neruda challenge at Real Toads. I don't like writing sonnets, so I hope that this will please, instead.

 
 

27 comments:

Heaven said...

What a story Shay ~ I love this part best:

and our four heartbeats which came together for a while
in the unlikely, gorgeous perfection
of our uncommon common language.

I must say though, I enjoy listening to Spanish poems, even though I don't understand them perfectly ~

wkkortas said...

I can see this smack-dab in the middle of a Cowboy Junkies album, and that is never a bad thing.

Rene Foran said...

I adored this. I want to stretch out and roll around in it :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

I have no quibble with the way in which inspiration for this poem reached you. If a reading of Neruda's sonnets showed you the way in, I'm glad of it, and over the moon as a reader of poetry to have got a chance to read such a magnificent thing of beauty as this is.

TexWisGirl said...

i felt like i was riding in the car with you.

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

I enjoy Neruda, Velarde, Pacheco, Miguel de Uno Muno, Spinoza, Ortega y Gasset, etc, etc. etc. (the etcetra's from King and I)
I find tat their writings/sonnets come from the thicker, darker, more passionate blood.

Nice story, though, mi amiga

LaTonya Baldwin said...

Babe, write the way you damn well please. This is wicked cool. Whew, gonna read it again. The rush is addictive.

Björn said...

What a marvelous story.. and rightly no Sonnet .. but it doesn't matter in my book... (I love to write sonnets) still a great read.

Mama Zen said...

This is so damn good I don't even know where to start!

hedgewitch said...

Consider this an echo of Mama Zen above; don't even know where to start--from the almost hidden, startling immediacy of the imagery to the graceful, born story-teller's unwinding of a perfect narrative, there is nothing to say about this poem of the heart except it is vintage, classic Fireblossom at the top of her form.

grapeling said...

Shay, I wish I could write like you. I'm glad that at the least, I can read and travel your thoughts. Wow. ~ M

Peggy said...

This is such a readable story! So well done. Glad to see you took this prompt in a different direction--makes it fun.

Loredana Donovan said...

I really enjoyed reading this and wonder if it is real or imagined as it sounds so authentic, with the characters coming to life ... I especially love the last stanza, harmoniously bringing it to a close :)

HermanTurnip said...

What a intrepid band of wayward travelers this group would have made. Would you possibly have room for one more on the bus?

Margaret said...

My hair is blowing, I'm breathing in the bluebonnets and warm souther air, all with my new found friends... such a personal story that puts the reader in the back seat!

You break the rules so well, Shay :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

"...burning the place down wherever he parked his heart."

Loved this one from the very beginning.

Great job.

xo jj

Susie Clevenger said...

What a perfect story..."four heartbeats which came together for a while
in the unlikely, gorgeous perfection of our uncommon common language" multiply that by all who come here to read and you will find an untold number of heartbeats coming together.

Lolamouse said...

What a fantastical road trip!

Daryl said...

i love your long poems ..

Helen said...

YOU are a rebel ~~~ and we love it!!

G-Man said...

(Slugs down a shot of 1800/with a beer chaser)

Ahhhh... Shay? Muy Bueno!!!

Ella said...

I want to go on a road trip with you ;D
Love the enchantment n' wonder of what an evening with him would be like!

My favorite lines:
"The bluebonnets were out, in all the fields by the highway.
They only grow in Texas, and we stopped to stretch out in them,
drown in them
like a bunch of boho dolphins, sleek and weird,
gloriously out of our element."

Nothing better than to be gloriously out of one's element ;D

Paige Nicole said...

This natural flow of thought flows into a realm of natural jazz a unique music of desire.

Lynn said...

I love the line about the bluebonnets, too. Great read!

zouxzoux said...

Stay outa Louisiana or I might just kidnap Neruda. This was fun! Much better than a sonnet.

Sara said...

As always, you create a wonderful tale in words. I loved these words,

"but that she was hidden,
riding in the night-pocket of God's long sweater,
howling at the stars."

That's a great line. Please, oh please, can I borrow your mind/creativity for awhile? Mine's gone missing, but yours is definitely making a statement. I love it:~) How do you do so well and for so long?

Cloudia said...

Admiration should be expressed!
We do love birds that make for our islands!


ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° >