Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Remember Me?

(I was listening to the rain today and thinking of people in my past -- those I loved, lived with, studied with, made music with and passed by among late night shadows -- and this came out:)

Remember me? How did I come through your life?

Was I a volcano, a crater or an iceberg upon the planet surface of your brain?

Do you remember me in a chilled, leafy wind,
     sitting on a crumbling city wall, in a city smelling of city rain,
     looking like I was in need of a shave and some poetic truth?

Do you remember me singing and playing in an empty auditorium
     as you watched through the double-door windows -- or standing in the firelight
     in winter woods?

Or was I a cheek-kiss at a party or a handshake, stepping down from the stage?

Was I sweating on a field, running hard next to you among young men seeking

Or was I your boyfriend's roomate?

"Rain," by Childe Hassam

-- or the kid sleeping next to you in Chemistry class?

-- or the weary drummer who held the door at the convenience store at three a.m?

-- or a model of thought; a model of how not to think; a feared competitor or
          an easy win; an inspiration or a fool?

-- or a remote voice swimming to you through oceans of digital static,
          invisible but real?

Was I the center of your thought, ever, or only a shadow among shadows?

I don't know and I never will, because I either live in your mind as empty blackness,
     or black-and-white or bold neon brush-strokes. But I can hope that, once, our
     eyes met and that as the world spiralled around us both like a maelstrom,
     colors spinning hard enough to blend, hail battering cacophony on the
     roof of Everything, we were, for a frozen Springtime moment,
     each other's anchor
     and warmth,
     palm to palm.

If you don't remember me at all, it's my fault.

If I was nothing, I'm so sorry. I wish I'd been so much more.


  1. The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you'd thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you've never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it's as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.
    --The History Boys

    Seriously, was just thinking along these lines this morning when I read this. Fantastic. Thanks for giving the soul a nice shot in the arm and the spirit a reason to rejoice.


  2. Chris: I'm so choked up emotionally by the beauty of this, I can't find the words to adequately describe the depths to which my pride in you have reached. This brings back to me out of the dusty filing-cabinet of my memory an experience I had when I was 28 years old. My some freak of circumstance, I met Frank Sinatra (Sr.) in Las Vegas. He said he liked my outfit (his words: "Man! You really look sharp!"), and he invited me to join him at Caesar's Palace for drinks with his friends...Lucille Ball, Pat Cooper, Jack Carter, Joe DeCarlo (Manager of Sonny & Cher), etc. I drank Ginger-Ale all evening, and sat there next to Frank, totally mute and overwhelmed by His Presence. (Too bad I was too shy to speak. Who knows what doors he could have opened for my career...if I had only asked! Still kicking myself over that lost opportunity!) He treated me with great dignity and respect, and I was invited back again the following evening. I never saw him again after that, but over the years I've wondered if the thought of our brief encounter ever popped into his memories are sometimes wont to do in our Stream Of Consciousness. Your poem speaks to that eloquently. Thank you, Chris, for your sensitivity, talent, wisdom and uniqueness. Love, Aunt Loretta

  3. Papi -- I thank you, my friend. Glad you liked it so much.

    Aunt Loretta -- It is amazing, the ripples we send out into the pool of life. You got to splash around with Frank for few nights. Very cool. (I'll bet he remembered.)Thanks for reading and always being so encouraging!