NOVEMBER 17, 1999

I wondered aloud
your facial features
prefacing with positive remarks
my aesthetic opposition
to rosy and puffy cheeks;
I said
are not that bad,
but pale is the color of the skin
I prefer

And even though I had just begun
already I had gone too far

History repeats itself
when you least suspect it
or so it would have you think
-three of four academics will concur-
For my part I remain suspicious
of anything thatís manifested in triplicities:
History - recorded
History - remembered
History - that what has happened
(records are eclectic selections of appearance
memories are endlessly modified to exorcise the present
-donít get me started on that subject-
and what has happened is always the unknown in the puzzle)

So I pause
no my love
I stop
abruptly and completely
I stop
intentioning no other word
but apologetic silence
granting the authority to all
and to you in particular
to decide
to affirm
to impose and apply
the severe punishment
the cumulative effect of scientific inquiry
or inquisition
and acquisition of totally all
religious forms methods prayers and practices
(a deal made during my sophomore year in exile
which I never officially recognized
but de facto dealt with it since
pro and con for and against
for myself and you
against myself and against you especially you)

And your head
(is this my voice I hear)
is big
somewhat bigger than...
not enormous or huge or anything
like that
just big
disproportionately big
to the rest of you
which is also big
the rest of you
I mean
is big as well
in proportion to itself
or its parts to each other

Send me back to where I came from
I definitely deserve no less and a lot more
I have managed to cover my eyes all this time
put your palm over my lips
and send me back to Athens Greece
not to confuse it with Athens Georgia
or for that matter all the other Athenses
scattered throughout the States
(no wonder our young are failing world geography
with any city worth mentioning mapped out under fingertips
- Athens and Ithaca Berlin and Alexandria -
highway points connecting forgetfulness to oblivion
- Peru Illinois to Paris Texas -
within walking distance or a stoneís throw
or any other appropriate simile that comes to mind
pertaining to geographical situations or state disputes)

Enough on geography though my love
itís history Iím interested in
that you and I are concerned with
that we look for we search and we research
that we write papers theses and diatribes
that we attend lectures seminars and conferences
your history our history the history of you and I
from time immemorial to time immemorial
- till death do us part -
our birth our golden era
the decline and the revolution of the margins
the transition period when the mainstream becomes obsolete
and the margins are the mainstream
and through all this our letters our love our togetherness
our end
our becoming
the lone possibility of our future

Your palm drips wetness off my kiss
at last we roam the streets of Athens Greece

Twenty-six years ago today
these same streets
these same window fronts
these same buses and bus drivers
these same faces
for one whole day or just an hour or only a single moment
were there
were really there
they were Being There
Das Sein Martin would say
and did say it the other night when you granted my request
or you forced ordered demanded extorted blackmailed
my presence in your bed
fulfilling my deepest and most secret desire
and perhaps yours - most certainly yours - as well

Covered by sheets of cotton
in the midst of nowhere and everywhere
- early Spring pastels rocking our cradle -
uncovering with all our multiplied senses
every inch of our being
gathering our being inside each other
enclosing the surrounding light
within soft and violent seizures
as the totality of Being discloses itself
to us and in us

if I could only be Martin like
and keep those other thoughts to myself
eternity would never cease
even when their royal aspirations fail
and their schemes are publicly revealed
they get to keep their solitary voice
the privilege
to broker deals and compromises
to prophecise historical events
in future in present and in past
to appear synonymous with history
as history itself indeed
themselves unknown distant and adored
misunderstood admired and lonely

(History - so many ruses in your sleeves)

But when a poet inarticulate lays
(and all the poets do)
even solitude loses all meaning
and withdraws retires in backstage forever
or leaves the premises altogether
itís then
as you can attest
that I need you most
that I beg you to return
that I swear never a word again
about that day
twenty six years ago today
itís now my love
that I deploy all my troops
science metaphysics and religions too
black magic superstition and fate
that fate
our fate
our historical necessity and unstoppable force.

Sensing thatís not half good enough
I promise aesthetics never to discuss
to leave it for history to judge
- what is the perfect shade of pale
- what is the perfect size of head
- what constitutes the perfect object of desire
- what is the perfect cry for love

I stop
what else
I have no more
I give you all
and more
much more than I have
With lips restrained
and eyes closed
I stare at you and you read my thoughts
but you remain serious and businesslike
with lawyers at every side
reciting your terms and conditions
before you allow me to see
your white blouse on the carpet
before you let me taste you again

- The wedding shall take place in the church
- The wedding rings shall diamonds be
- At least two children I will give thee...

Enough enough
I donít care I donít mind
give me a pen and I shall sign

Closure at last and finality my love
the process never mattered but the end
for the last time I push my glasses back
you see me and your ear lobe you touch
I am calm content collected and serene
and all is natural and true
as a simple black pen passes from hand to hand
and ends up in my fingers
its fine point next to the X at the bottom of the last page
of our pre-nuptial agreement
I take a moment to breathe
that wonderful silence of the room
- I the dyslexic now lexiless too -
but the silence is broken by words that have their own agenda
as they quietly escape through my moving lips:
I have a condition of mine
that you shall never be your mother like

Closure and finality my love indeed
history repeats endlessly repeats itself
teaches the same lesson over and over again
but a bad teacher it must be
because we never learn

Twenty six years ago today
I wasnít there
but when I heard the news I raised my fist
and with my other hand I waved a sign
in that cold November air
and every year since then the same day I cry
but you have never shed a tear on the subject
- you the ever practical one
with your priorities always straight -
and your words are cold indifferent objective
almost journalistic-like
you go on as if nothing ever happened
- and most probably nothing ever did -
I remain stranded dwelling on aesthetics

I wondered aloud
your motherís weight
emphatically underlining my respect and admiration
for her person
before mumbling my aesthetic opposition
to the possibility of you
expanding - in the future - in similar to her
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