Thursday, December 29, 2005

Melancholiness is a state of the mind

I am unhappy.

My boss just told me to make a poster in two days flat. I am to integrate two things that are as different as chalk and cheese into one poster and in only nine slides!

Back to the point. I am sad. So what right do you guys have to be happy?

Therefore here is a poem gauranteed to make you sad too.

My Father's Love Letters

On Fridays he'd open a can of Jax
After coming home from the mill,
& ask me to write a letter to my mother
Who sent postcards of desert flowers
Taller than men. He would beg,
Promising to never beat her
Again. Somehow I was happy
She had gone, & sometimes wanted
To slip in a reminder, how Mary Lou
Williams' "Polka Dots & Moonbeams"
Never made the swelling go down.
His carpenter's apron always bulged
With old nails, a claw hammer
Looped at his side & extension cords
Coiled around his feet.
Words rolled from under the pressure
Of my ballpoint: Love,
Baby, Honey, Please.
We sat in the quiet brutality
Of voltage meters & pipe threaders,
Lost between sentences . . .
The gleam of a five-pound wedge
On the concrete floor
Pulled a sunset
Through the doorway of his toolshed.
I wondered if she laughed
& held them over a gas burner.
My father could only sign
His name, but he'd look at blueprints
& say how many bricks
Formed each wall. This man,
Who stole roses & hyacinth
For his yard, would stand there
With eyes closed & fists balled,
Laboring over a simple word, almost
Redeemed by what he tried to say.

-- Yusef Komunyakaa

There, I feel much better now.

For insightful comments, hidden meanings and other melancholy stuff go here.


kate said...

for the departmental review, i suppose...isn't that on wednesday? why does he want it in two days?

samudrika said...

The review comittee comes on Monday! So I must have it ready by Saturday if I want the weekend off.

P.S. You have been linked.