November has returned,
an unwelcome guest.
It is always wise to count the spoons
after November visits.
This light-fingered unpleasant month,
with nights that leave me
wondering why I bothered
to sleep in the first place.
The low-grade fever
and scratchy throat that
last for eternities of short gray days, punctuating
restless nightmare plagued darkness.
I'd ask for a tonsillectomy,
but insurance would call it elective surgery
even if it would preserve my sanity.
The inside of my head feels
like a convocation of ADD tigers
complaining in New Jersey accents
about bad pedicures.
The idea haunts me
in the studio,
at the computer,
at dinner with my friends,
that I could more directly
influence the human race for good
by dropping out of college
and doing something real,
like growing potatoes.
Things don't get much more real than potatoes.
But that's November for you.
A Mate---Without Company*
(Translated from the Spanish for Saxifrage)
Alone, always alone, I drink my mate
The straw settled between my lips
Even as my empty thermos reminds me
That truly I am alone
The spent yerba floats atop the water
And I dream of my companions
sharing the sweetest cookies in all the Americas
Hey, wanna drink a mate?
Sit awhile and we'll chat
Life is hard
And even my fantasies can't save me from my solitude
The mate is my only companion
and the straw its friend
The water fills us with hope and we keep going, together
my mate and I
*Mate (Mah-tay) is similar to a very strong green tea and shared by passing a hollowed gourd from person to person during small afternoon gatherings in Argentina and Uruguay.
Journey of the Oblivious Believers
We clasped our hands together, danced and spun
in the timeless ritual of our forefathers
cried out in our urgent need to the goddess of the sea
come, bend fate,
bring destiny to our will
shed light on our path
lend us more paper life again
We took our nickels and,
bathed in the ethereal currents of the ocean,
Began to scratch in eager anticipation