Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Living Space

Sometimes I stumble across something that is quintessentially California. Sure, people abandon furniture on streets all over the world. But here -- artfully placed right next to a palm under a blast of almost supernaturally bright sunlight, -- the sofa looks whimsical and cool. Hopeful, even. In fact, with the mild summer weather of late, this wouldn't be a bad spot to chill out and take in the day.

I was reminded of a wonderful bit of recent epic poetry called The California Poem by Eleni Sikelianos. Here's an excerpt:

California, where the car brakes never work and I always roll
through stop signs, into the gaps

of glowing green lights through the trees

There are things that keep us
from work and school: the rain, or each husband
who comes home with a 60”-screen color TV

“which has brought me here
to the gold of all my wishing”
to give an account of our first ages,
and of all the great events which happened
in the infancy of the world when

having no tan to work on I was
working on my self,
shiny shiny

was my glistening chapel
Westminster Cathedral, gothic
beach scenes to the west

Memory can be anyone’s shimmering
Albion, bathyspheric hellhole hideout
trop severe
in such a book of sun I like too much

liken it to the apathy of opposite collaborations
with Carmathian mortality
sifting spiritual liquids filled with less than these colors
into microfine powders & let them drift
through air, with the words
red through red
blue through blue

into the kingdoms of the western rimlands
in the crack up of the old orders
the winged sea towers our coastal artists drew
The Chief of the House, Keeper of the Chalk, slips off
my hereditary admiralship of Ocean Sea
in a swarm a storm, my restless
my rootless people
just as a bird is homeless
I am homeless too


Anonymous said...

and of course there's a blog dedicated to abandoned couches

Laurie said...

I love it, PA!

Yakpate said...

Amazing work from a poet I didn't know of. Thanks for the introduction!

Margaret said...

I like this one.

Laurie said...

Oh, thanks my artistic friends. I really love the poem -- and I'm kinda fond of this image, too.

Until tomorrow, all...

Anonymous said...

Rad! Both the photo and the poem.

Laurie said...

Oleg, I thought of you when I read this poem. It's book-length and fabulous -- begs to be read aloud from rooftops.

Dixie Jane said...

It 'taint funny but I couldn't help but think of the old Jerry Lee Lewis song, "Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire."

Everything is BIG in California, be it roses, fires, mudslides, dreams.

May the fire be blessedly contained, and soon and everybody can go back to normal with what is left.

I'm here in Texas worrying about you and your friends and the whole of California.

eda said...