soft urgency all over.


The Matanzas Bay Just Before the Bombs Went Off

Spent the weekend reading David Sedaris's new book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, which is wonderful as everything else--perhaps his most meditative to date. Also finally watched Sweeney Todd, in which Johnny Depp was still hot; Definetly, Mabe, starring Ryan Reynolds, which was actually very delightful--funny, surprising, engaging, and touching. Finished Grey's Anatomy. Am in the midst of The Wire, and am currently catching up on Six Feet Under. Also watched fireworks with mi madre, from the Bridge of Lions, and attached a moody view of the bay prior to the gorgeous explosion.

The Cover of Sedaris's Latest Essays

A Golden Image from this Flickr Site

Like Riding a Bicycle
by George Bilgere from The Good Kiss

I would like to write a poem
About how my father taught me
To ride a bicycle one soft twilight,
A poem in which he was tired
And I was scared, unable to disbelieve
In gravity and believe in him,
As the fireflies were coming out
And only enough light remained
For one more run, his big hand at the small
Of my back, pulling away like the gantry
At a missile launch, and this time, this time
I wobbled into flight, caught a balance
I would never lose, and pulled away
From him as he eased, laughing, to a stop,
A poem in which I said that even today

As I make some perilous adult launch,
Like pulling away from my wife
Into the fragile new balance of our life
Apart, I can still feel that steadying hand,
Still hear that strong voice telling me
To embrace the sweet fall forward
Into the future's blue

Equilibrium. But,
Of course, he was drunk that night,
Still wearing his white shirt
And tie from the office, the air around us
Sick with scotch, and the challenge
Was keeping his own balance
As he coaxed his bulk into a trot
Beside me in the hot night, sweat
Soaking his armpits, the eternal flame
Of his cigarette flaring as he gasped
And I fell, again and again, entangled
In my gleaming Schwinn, until
He swore and stomped off
Into the house to continue
Working with my mother
On their own divorce, their balance
Long gone and the hard ground already
Rising up to smite them
While I stayed outside in the dark,
Still falling, until at last I wobbled
Into the frail, upright delight
Of feeling sorry for myself, riding
Alone down the neighborhood's
Black street like the lonely western hero
I still catch myself in the act
Of performing.

And yet, having said all this,
I must also say that this summer evening
Is very beautiful, and I am older
Than my father ever was
As I coast the Pacific shoreline
On my old bike, the gears clicking
Like years, the wind
Touching me for the first time, it seems,
In a very long time,
With soft urgency all over.

"Like Riding a Bicycle" by George Bilgere, from The Good Kiss. © University of Akron Press, 2002.
"A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us."--Franz Kafka

"When the wolf is at the door one should invite him in and have him for dinner."--MFK Fisher

Comments

JLF said…
So, so beautiful. Made me smile and cry.
JLF said…
Your blog is inspiring and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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