Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blog, interrupted.

I listened to an old episode of This American Life today, called "Somewhere Out There", about finding "the one", that one true love, one special friend - y'know, all that youthful optimism of young friends and lovers - forever and ever, amen.


I took a pause, collected my thoughts, and then heard the sound of incoming email. Must check it! There's a link to a video, The Dead Weather on Letterman.

I may have lost my romanticism, but my love of rock n' roll is not dead. Is that romantic? Nah.I still like passion in music.

So, to heck with the wistful posting. What's left is a link to Randy Travis' sappy 1987 country hit, "Forever and Ever Amen", and the first paragraph, in which I accidentally referenced his song.

So much for getting back to blogging. Besides, I shouldn't be typing. I've got tendonitis and my hand hurts.

Since this has become a post full of references and links, here's a poem I once spent an awfully long time memorizing for you to munch on, "The Dirty Hand" by Carlos Drummond De Andrade, translated loosely by Mark Strand:

My hand is dirty.
I must cut it off.
To wash it is pointless.
The water is putrid.
The soap is bad.
It won’t lather.
The hand is dirty.
It’s been dirty for years.

I used to keep it out of sight,
in my pants pocket.
No one suspected a thing.
People came up to me,
Wanting to shake hands.
I would refuse
and the hidden hand,
like a dark slug,
would leave its imprint on my thigh.
And then I realized
it was the same
if I used it or not.
Disgust was the same.

Ah! How many nights
in the depths of the house
I washed that hand,
scrubbed it,
polished it, dreamed it would turn to diamond or crystal
or even, at last,
into a plain white hand,
the clean hand of a man,
that you could shake, or kiss,
or hold in one of those moments
when two people confess
without saying a word.
Only to have the incurable hand,
lethargic and crablike,
open its dirty fingers.

And the dirt was vile.
It was not mud or soot
or the caked filth of an old scab
or the sweat of a laborer’s shirt.
It was a sad dirt
made of sickness and human anguish.
It was not black;
black is pure.
It was dull,
a dull grayish dirt.
It is impossible
to live with this gross hand
that lies on the table.

Cut it off!
Chop it to pieces
and throw it into the ocean.
With time,
with hope and its machinations,
another hand will come,
pure, transparent as glass,
and fasten itself to my arm.