Saturday, April 5, 2014

Theory of Travel

I am the angel of speed !

My instruments—jets, wheels, and walking sticks !

The boy with the bright blue jacket soaks his shoes in the surf
The woods were already cut when he got there
Beyond them the domes of the capital rise against the evening sun
He follows the red highway to arrive at a closed hotel

As a piano established in the Himalayas
Hollows out the canyon of its presence,
A train curving along the mountain’s edge
Climbs up above the cloud-habitats of men.
She had left herself and all of him behind
For where she was not likely to be found:
“If I could demolish the rules and keep the tradition,”
She said, “romantic and melancholic and austere,
Pieces that would be handed down, like a shawl,
To escape the repetitions of afternoon,
Mechanical thought, the habitudes of house
And home.”  The widow floating on the lake
Viewed the orchards and terraces of Ko.

My angel, my soul, my hypocrite
Imagine the luxury and languor of travelling first-class
In leather seats that recline into a chaise longue
Espresso exported from Peru to Venice
The latest financial news printed on pink paper
White burgundy black velvet blankets
Sleepy cigarettes, white chocolates that burn the throat
When privacy is optimal
You embrace me like a viola da gamba
Glancing around the cabin as we break the sound barrier
Here everything is decadence and pleasure
Repose, extravagance, and leisure

We notice on the ferry bound for Naxos
The color of the sea, when one looks straight down
And not from a distance across its beveled planes
It is as the poet says, not green, not blue

I pluck you like a sheep
From habits where you sleep,
Of body and of soul,
(The last, more powerful)
To keep you clean and clear
Of useless care and fear.
I might send you on the road
To lighten up your load—
Or plop you down a chair
So you may travel there.