Monday, March 28, 2011

"It Wasn't Paul Fernandes"

I’m absorbing this endless rain. It shows up in my poems - too many words like inundated, too many phrases like losing my bouyancy. I tell people I’m growing moss on my toes, webs between them.  I haven’t had a good long walk in days.  But the tulips, seen through the window, bring me to attention like the flag when they play the national anthem.  I stare at the pink and gold tulips, open to the rain and filling with water, and I wonder if a bird could drink from that cup. 

And then there was that music:                                    
I don’t know how the name Paula Fernandes got on my laptop journal, in 24 pt font and that Blue that says “Click On This and I’ll Take You To Her”.   I fell for that voice, even though she sings “Brazilian country music”, and I’m not a country music fan. (I hear my old friend Don Foss say there are only two kinds of music: Country & Western. )
It’s that fallen angel voice. And the guitar.  Since I don’t hold on to back in the day very well, she’s my new Emmylou, my new Judy Collins. Though all three have a propensity for cowgirl boots, and long, flowing hair,  Emmylou and Judy never showed up in a pink satin bustier, scarlet vest, and mini-cut-offs. Fernandes’ music speaks to some part of me that still longs & yearns. I don’t understand the lyrics, but I feel what she is singing, and fortunately I live in the day when translations of lyrics are all over the Web. To my delight, the title Pássaro de Fogo means Firebird, and I’m suddenly flooded (there’s that rain language again) with Ivan Bilibin’s magical illustrations of Russian fairy tales, and I hear Stravinsky’s music.  But Paula Fernandes is her own Firebird, begging to carry her lover away, and I decide that’s a young woman’s lyric. But wait. Where is it written that your passion ends when you finally cut your long, flowing hair?


               It Wasn’t Paula Fernandes

I clicked on the music icon and heard a faint wail
it wasn’t Paula Fernandes but Caltrain horning
its way into town    then the clickclack
of railroad cars on the track    sound travels  
but I live so far away  
The cat appears in my room  
white stuffed mouse in her mouth
carrying it like the kitten she’ll never have  
Outside the window the pinkandgold tulips open to rain 
tulipcup filling with water   I wonder if a bird
might drink from that cup

The cat stealthjumps  circles twice and cuddles in
the cup of me fills with comfort    the cat nudges
Old Lady Pain off the chair  

I had lost my buoyancy   slid down to the bottom
of a creek  the creek became a river
the river ran into the ocean   was I too
far down to bubble upwards  
there were no bubbles  no upwards
and then   the pinkandgoldtulips opened to rain
and I surfaced    once again

I wonder if a bird could drink
from the tulipcups
better yet   could I?


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