Monday, May 08, 2006

Reading. Ferlinghetti. (poetry). (part 2).

I must confess that have not read much poetry in my time. It has always been something I have fallen into, accidentally, for a class, or for the sheer pleasure of language during times I have been learning other languages besides my own. Something apart from the literature which mostly consumes me. I have always felt, as someone who needs words in order to live, that poetry did not contain enough words for me, that I preferred the long meandering of novels, the space into which I could fall into the endless depths of a story, into another world outside my own. It has not been until the past several months that I have been reading more and more poetry. Which all started with Bukowski, and then onto Ferlinghetti. Whom I love more than anything. No, that's not true. I love him differently than, say, Bukowski. The latter caught me off-guard; what I felt for him was a surprise, almost a physical shock. Ferlinghetti was like...falling in love with your best friend, someone you've known and loved forever but you haven't really seen them until one day, you realize that what you've always wanted is right there in front of you. That feeling of something exciting and new and yet somehow something that makes you feel safe.

My favorite poem is from A Far Rockaway of the Heart. It's simply called, #2, the second poem in that volume. (On the page the poem looks different; the way Ferlinghetti arranges his sentences, cantilevered words veering off into space).

Driving a cardboard automobile without a license
at the turn of the century
my father ran into my mother
on a fun-ride at Coney Island
having spied each other eating
in a French boarding-house nearby
And having decided right there and then
that she was for him entirely
he followed her into
the playland of that evening
where the headlong meeting
of their ephemeral flesh on wheels
hurtled them together forever

And I now in the backseat
of their eternity
reaching out to embrace them

Reading it aloud seems to carry me along in this breathless rush, this certainty of love, I almost feel like I can't breathe when I read it. I love the part where he says "And having decided right there and then/that she was for him entirely." That absoluteness of it grips me around the heart, stops me headlong, sends me reeling.

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