Homeland security

Homeland security
by jamh

R. Bolano rightly writes
that a father is a landscape
you do your best to avoid
all of your adult life.

You see him eat and swallow
with yellowed false teeth
and your hatred silently grows
dull, then sharp as a knife.

You want out, way out there,
where beauty lays in surprise,
where you can take your time
in the presence of absence.

But as bones are picked dry,
you stand alone, ironic,
with almost the same wife
and that same look in the eye.

You tried to do otherwise,
but where else does exist
that springs forth not from
that same well of old sty?

Yes, old is ugly, it hurts,
it can't see in the dark
or hear what they say.
Young is beautiful, it yearns
like some sparkling jewels,
confident and in dismay.

You protest of course,
but horrified, in a trail of blood,
you are led from one into the other,
and all you can think is
how Bolano was wrong,
the first gate of hell
is to know the way.



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by jamh on

I don't dwell on these as long as I should perhaps. Rough edges are not always a bad thing. Long ago I would work and work on a little poem, and every time it got changed it became something new and a bit further from the original thought.

Roberto Bolano is wonderful, wonderfully weird and intoxicating (and quite dark). Unlike me, he truly lived the life he preached. The funny thing is that his earlier poet friends were not too happy when he turned to prose and became famous as a result, but when you read his books, for which he got all those prizes, you'll realize that he just extended his poems.




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