A Fourth of a Poem

Grand Ave Beach

All around us,
the plants whisper
in dry brittle voices,
“water us, water us.”

Sotto voce,
there is no water,
and what falls is not wet
or gentle,

but drops of chthonic fireworks,
urban, rural, coastal infernos.
The plants dig and pray to Hades,
and cooler there

than here in this air.

Cherry Trees in City Park in Spring

031920152271It was such a perfect day in the park. You might have been reminded of the Lou Reed song “Perfect Day.” The cherry trees were drinking sangria:

Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on

The second person is often tricky. “Who is you?” the cherry trees sang above the fresh open water of the reservoir.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9 KJV). But the world will likely not end with a moral but with a song of thirst. “Do you think your cherry blossoms will sink or swim?”

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“The depths below the surfaces must be equal.”

Joyce uses the word cherry only three times in “Ulysses,” and he may have thought of cherry as a word that triggers a genre, of sangria fruit and not the white wine of the cherry blossoms:

Did you try the borax with the cherry laurel water?…
always with a laugh in her gipsylike eyes and a frolicsome word on her cherryripe red lips…
she of the cherry rouge and coiffeuse white…

Cherry TreeSit down on the grass and listen. You can hear the water flowing out of the ground pipe and into the reservoir, the waterfall fountain breaking the still blue water white and frothy like surf. Like John Cage, wherever Joyce listened, he heard music:

O, look we are so! Chamber music. Could make a kind of pun on that. It is a kind of music I often thought when she. Acoustics that is. Tinkling. Empty vessels make most noise. Because the acoustics, the resonance changes according as the weight of the water is equal to the law of falling water.

The breeze coming up the hill and over the water was blowing the blossoms off the trees and into the air. If you look closely at the left hand side of the photo below, you will see the blossoms in the air, as dry as your virtual kiss:

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