Archive for October 31st, 2010

Touching The Flame

Two happy lovers make one bread,
a single moon drop in the grass.
Walking, they cast two shadows that flow together;
waking, they leave one sun empty in their bed.

Of all the possible truths, they chose the day;
they held it, not with ropes but with an aroma.
They did not shred the peace; they did not shatter words;
their happiness is a transparent tower.

The air and wine accompany the lovers.
The night delights them with its joyous petals.
They have a right to all the carnations.

Two happy lovers, without an ending, with no death,
they are born, they die, many times while they live:
they have the eternal life of the Natural.


I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

—Pablo Neruda


The Clenis In Winter

(Since in American culture it is on Halloween common to assume the identity of another, I figure today is as good a day as any to revisit this piece I originally posted February 3, 2008 to the Great Pumpkin, in which I assumed the identity of, and spoke as, Bill Clinton’s fabled member, The Clenis.

(I was feeling then generous to both Clintons, I and II, because it seemed to me then certain that their son and heir, Barack Obama, would become the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, rather than Clinton II.

(I should have known they still had a lot more fight in them, the Clintons. And they both made me very, very angry at times, over the next several months, as they continued to roughly resist the inevitable. But though, like Henry II in the film clip embedded at the end of this piece, Clinton I surely wanted to kill his son, in the end he just couldn’t do it. Today, like Clinton II, he actually works for him.

(Since this story sorta goes on forever, it’s okay if you don’t finish reading it until next Halloween.)

Hey. Clenis here. How ya’ll doin’? Sure been a while.

Yeah, used to be you couldn’t look at a TV, pass a radio, or pick up a newspaper, without runnin’ into me.

Then, I was on everybody’s lips. Back during that Publican stage-directed soap opera, 17th-Century style, where my havin’ gone on walkabout was used to try to whip ol’ Bill, like some latter-day Hester Prynne, from out the Oval Office.

No, I couldn’t believe it, either. No more than could the rest of the world—out there they were first amused, then bewildered, and finally pretty scared. Would have locked their doors to us, if they could. As it is, in the histories, when the Clenis impeachment comes ’round, it will go down writ large, as one of the most embarrassing American spectacles of the century . . . right alongside the WWII internment camps, and that imperial war on Spain phonied up by an excitable asthmatic and a dour newspaperman.

But that was then. These days, it ain’t me that’s gettin’ Bill into trouble. Nope: this time the offending organ is his mouth. Course, they’re gettin’ it all wrong about his mouth, now, just like they once got it all wrong about me. Jump over the “furthur” there, and I’ll tell you about it.


When I Worked

October 2010
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