Friday, March 09, 2007

Buzz kill

I know it's so terribly college-sophomore of me, but I fucking love e.e. cummings.

And I was delighted to see Ms. Megan of By and By link to a wonderful poem of his about spring.

I'm tad jealous this time of year. There is no spring in Los Angeles. There is only the gradual warming of the nights and the lessening possibility of rain. And although I have grown to love this place, part of me will always long for spring in the countryside of Indiana, when the creeks begin to run again, or on the city streets of Chicago, where the sight of a crocus shooting up through the snow brings a smile to the face of even the hardest sons a bitches.

But in Los Angeles, spring is almost like autumn everywhere else. Because winter is wonderfully cool, and green, and after the rains come and wash 6 months of dust and grit from all the houses and the streets and the trees, Los Angeles seems softer around the edges. It seems more like a place where people should be living. But summer in Los Angeles is unrelenting. The ubiquitous palm trees drop sticky, rank seeds everywhere, and offer precious few inches of shade. Lawns sizzle and burn in all but the wealthiest of neighborhoods. The homeless people stagger and stink and sweat under the weight of their many ragged layers. The sun shines every single goddamn day like it’s trying to kill you, and it very nearly does. When spring comes to Los Angeles, the trial of summer cannot be far behind, and everyone knows it.

And so, in honor, somehow, of spring in the city of angels, I share with you my own favorite e.e. cummings poem:


no time ago
or else a life
walking in the dark 
i met christ
jesus)my heart
flopped over
and lay still
while he passed(as
close as i'm to you
yes closer
made of nothing
except loneliness



10 comments:

Grant Miller said...

I kind of like e.e. cummings too.

Johnny Yen said...

When I taught sixth grade, whenever a kid gave me a paper with no capitalization or punctuation (it happened pretty often), I would tell them that they need capitalization and punctuation, unless they were ee cummings. They never got it, but I cracked myself up pretty good.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Grant: You're a big man to admit it. Really.

JohnnyY: You are a dork. A well-meaning dork, but a dork nevertheless.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Thanks for reminding me that springtime in the Rockies is the best, especially when you move here from Phoenix.

Johnny Yen said...

Takes one to know one ; )

kirby said...

Damn, someone beat me to the punch with a reference to the little lame footed goat man. O.K., I'm totally the first to call "April is the cruelest month."

michael said...

You can have your 'bredding lilacs from the dead,' I call the General Prologue:

Whan that April with his shoures soothe,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roothe,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertue engendred is the fleur...

e.e. cummings?! Oh to be that such a naif again...

MonstrousJoe said...

Not a lot of people realize that Cummings was a star player for the Bucks back in the late 80s... Had a killer post game.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Kristi: And when you're buried under 4 feet of snow, it's good to remember these things.

JohnnyY: Yes, indeed. Also, he who smelt it, dealt it.

Kirby & Michael: Holy Christ, no need to resort to Elliot or FOR SURE not freakin Chaucer. According to Chaucer, when it rains, flowers grow.

Whee.

How 'bout this instead:

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

any experience,your eyes have their silence:

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,

or which i cannot touch because they are too near



your slightest look will easily unclose me

though i have closed myself as fingers,

you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens

(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose



or if your wish be to close me, i and

my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,

as when the heart of this flower imagines

the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals

the power of your intense fragility:whose texture

compels me with the color of its countries,

rendering death and forever with each breathing



(i do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens;only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands



Yeah, sucke on't that sweete verse, misser Pylgramage.

MJoe: I think you're confusing your poets. You're thinking of the poet Terry Cummings, who said "music is universal in that it heals, it calms, it creates the atmosphere for love, and oh yes, music blows."

kirby said...

Did I quote T. S. Eliot? I meant to quote Missy Eliott.

"Spring... gonna work it, cause it's worth it, bitch"