Monday, December 25, 2006

Dear Mr. Yesenin

Whilst being issued an elusive dose of insomnia at my parents house during Christmas, I perused through the family photos. Not for nostalgia, but for a bedtime story. I would use all my faculties and avoid all temptations to guess at what was going on this particular day with these very particular people. Often the work had already been done - on the back were dates and notes etc.
The first is of my Grandmother and her sister on Sunday Feb 10th just before a formal dance. Sorry about the quality - I don't have a scanner. The next is of Grandma and my mother in Manchester England, where she was unwillingly born in a taxi.

Yours ever,

Dear Yesenin,
"According to the World Health Organization, a woman is underweight if her BMI is less than 18.5...REAL women will rejoice at the news: waif-like models are being pushed off the catwalk," wrote the Times. If it were for esthetic reasons that Renaissance woman should walk the walk, then I'd feel less offended. But just look how REAL turns your guts when in the uppercase. It's almost as bad as anti-smoking commercials. Health is often just another ploy. Right or wrong, it makes no difference, the utterance is always backed by something else - something darker. Like this Christmas, my rather large Aunt said with a chuckle, "Thomas, you should put on weight. You're far too skinny!" I watched her waddle off to the bird in defeat after I told her to take a chill pill. I don't know why but I thought of Daria - that Prada, Thunder Perfect Mind video and Leonard Cohen's eyes in The Stranger Song Youtube video. Both are prayers, but one sounds like affirmation, like it was JUST discovered. The other is like a Muslim's Zikir. Prayer is the oldest utterance. It just is more holy when it is a tall skinny girl in Prada.
Always your devoted son,

Dear Yesenin,
Jim Harrison has been on my mind all day. For a guy who boozes like the best of us and stuffs his stomach till he can't see his own dick anymore - as he himself puts it - , he can express with ecstatic surprise how such a one can dissolve whilst smelling like a lily. This poem here, from The Shape of the Journey: New and Collected Poems, reminds me of Werner Herzog's pan of the windmills on that Greek Island. Or when I was on my way to my Grandmother's for Christmas dinner last night, and I locked a gaze on a park bench - Or rather, it's siren's call went straight to my legs. I wanted to reside on it till my Hugo Boss frayed and the Prada cologne dissolved - along with my mind.

My left eye is nearly blind.
No words have ever been read with it.
Not that the eye is virgin – thirty years ago
it was punctured by glass. In everything
it sees a pastel mist. The poster of Chief Joseph
could be King Kong, Hong Kong, or a naked lady riding
a donkey into Salinas, Kansas. A war atrocity.
This eye is the perfect art critic. This eye
is a perfect lover saying bodies don’t matter,
it is the voice. This eye can make a light bulb
into the moon when it chooses. Once a year I open
it to the full moon out in the pasture and yell,
white light white light.

Always affectionately,