25 Mar

I read him a poem now, when he wakes up.
He wakes up for ten minutes a day.
–Pomes, he says.
–Pomes in the closet rotting, I say.
–Are they now?
–They are.
–So send them out.
–They don’t want to travel any longer.
–They’d rather rot?
–They would. It’s their wish.
–And yours also?
–I don’t matter in this. It’s what they want.
Then he uses an English accent:
–Pomes, everyone…a pome, no less. The lad fancies himself a poet!
And he laughs. Before he goes into a coughing fit.
–You know where that’s from?
I say yes. From The Wall. Floyd.
–Sharp one.
I tell him I went to film school.
–Schyool, he says. And you don’t have to go to film schyool to know Floyd.
–Schyool. I used to be a stoner, so yea. You’re right.
He likes them, my poems. My pomes.
–It’s how Kerouac used to say it, or write it, he says.
I know that. I hate Kerouac. But I don’t tell him. People know (he knows). They always ask why I have “On the Road” on my shelves. I have Shakespeare, and I hate him too. And Mann. And Gide. I don’t like either of those fellows. I have them because I’ve read them. I’ve had to, in order to make up my mind. And then I couldn’t give away the books. Couldn’t sell them used, either. They’re still books. Good books.
–What I crave now is a nice, cold pint, he says.
–Black and tan?
–Then room tempy.
–Room temperature, then. For a black and tan. It’s only proper.
I ask him if I should sneak in some bottles next time I visit.
–Yea, sure.
And glasses? I could stuff them into my messenger bag.
–No, too civilised. Too highbrow. I miss drinking out of a bottle. I miss ice cold watermelon in the summers. Fried rice. Sitting on dark green grass.
The next time I come, he’s up and about slowly, dragging an I.V. hooked to a bag hooked to a pole on four wheels.
And the time after that, the room door is closed and there’s a wreath on it.


2 Responses to “Humana”

  1. prilea 21/02/2009 at 3:08 PM #

    I read your poem. It utterly destroyed me. It took quite a while for the sobs to subside.

    I slog through countless writings, small, petty, annoying pieces of work that seem to suck the life right out of me. I ask myself why do I keep looking ?

    Then I run across something like this and I understand why I keep looking. You have to dig up a lot of rocks to find a perfect diamond.

    I found one.

    Small and perfect.

    I’ll keep it.

  2. (S)wine 21/02/2009 at 3:12 PM #

    Thank you very much. I’m sorry I made you sob…

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