Part One: Ellipsis

Toronto Travel Blog

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Zuma Market in Antananarivo, Madagascar

 

 

            before

 

 

In the beginning there was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.  At least, that's what they taught me, back when I was a kid. But somewhere along the road, like so many wanderers before me, I came across other creation stories. 

 

Of all the “beginnings” out there, I like the Maori’s best: in their  beginning there was an  idea not a word.

 

        & the idea was remembered...

        & the idea became conscious because it was remembered.

Mt Bromo by day
..

 

Maybe one has to be over thirty before an idea can outstrip a silly lovestory?

 

 

            ***

 

 

            smoky apricots linger

            like amber

            haunting my stories

            mocking before and after

              [smile ]

          & i guess i don't do jaded

            any better than i do poetry

            cuz i'd rather feel your hair

            against my lips

            tasting its texture

            than live with

            scent traces

 

 

            ~~~

 

"I'm finally breaking free.

Udaipur, India. One of the most beautiful cities on earth!
" Mumbled now, less of certainty.

 

 

            ***

 

 

"Home is Where the Heart Is": a symposium in three parts

 

            i

 

i have three hearts.  one i keep in my back pocket and pull out like a wallet when i need it.  blood currency.  another i store at home, dried, coated with flour and sealed in tupperwear.  the last is no longer in my possession.

 

& it wasn't easy to give away.

Washing cars in the river water at the foot of Kilamanjaro
a lot of people don't want to deal in hearts, so they tug at the valves without enthusiasm.  mumble something about being vegetarian.  there was this guy fr instance.  he was just an ordinary guy.  you know: hair not-quite-right, jeans a little baggy at the ass, a portable walkman playing the best of the seventies, a taste for the mellow amber bubbles bottled by labatts, & an aim to relax watching baseball.... now this guy never knew about the blackmarket in hearts. wore his own on his sleeve.  he was an angel, really.  sweet and loyal and giving.  he'd forgive just about anything so long as your heart was in the right place. 

...

when the divorce came, it hit him full face, like a line drive smashed back at the pitcher.  the next time i saw him he wasn't eating meat.

 

 

            ii

 

when i was six i received my first valentine.

Kenyan wildlife
  its fine chocolate coating covered a spongy marshmallow centre. i don't remember how it tasted so much as the consistency of its dual nature caught between my tongue and the roof of my mouth.  my father had bought me the treat on the thirteenth, saying i could eat it then if i wanted. but i waited until my mother said it was the proper valentine's day before pulling his chocolate heart from its plastic wrapper.  after all: the ritual is as necessary as the candy. 

 

 

            iii

 

it takes sixteen years to build up a proper repertoire of  "i wants":  i want to be happy.  i want to travel. i want someone to love me.  i want a red karman'ghia.  i want a white wedding.  i want a computer, a four poster bed, fine linen sheets, & a six figure income.   the next sixteen years are an  introduction to disappointment.

.

Village families in Rajasthan
..

each day at noon the voice would begin to chant:  "i want to go home.  i want to go home.  i want to go home."  at the clinic they told her she should ignore the voices and so she tried her best.  but she knew in the very pit of her stomach that this was the haunting of jupiter.  it's desperate soul made of poisonous gases and hollow threads of light. 

 

"i cannot help you find your home if i do not have a ship," she said out loud, forgetting for the moment how her friend zelda had warned not to let anyone hear her talking to visitors.  a man coming out of the department store, behind, looks over at the woman, takes in her tattered bag, & decides to shuffle a few coins her direction.  they land with a clink as they hit the old transistors she was collecting for radar. she'd be needing good equipment if she were to find her way back thru the shifty planets of the solar system, after. 

 

 

            ***

 

"Okay, but there always has to be a why," my friend Jinnean is telling me in response to my complaint about being misunderstood.  Most of my friends think I'm being coy or ellusive. That or I'm simply ducking out: about to cash in the food stamps of a PhD, and a life in the academy. Sure I will end up selling beads and perky tie-dye tee shirts. 

 

“The street.  That's where you'll be.  If not as a bag lady, then a wannabe hippy.  What're you going to do when you get back?" 

 

            details

 

"I just want to get away see."

 

She's raising that skeptical eyebrow, Spock-like  again.  I hate when she does that: usually means we both know she's right.

 

"Okay, but you'll come visit me on the colder evenings, won't you?  Maybe bring me a coffee and pull up a piece of my subway grate, listen to my stories.... Just think of all the stories I'll be able to tell in return for spare change.  Me 'n the Ancient Mariner."

 

"What about your books?" Jinnean laughs, "Are you going to give them to me?"

 

I didn't sell the books.  Couldn't bring myself to part with the "happily ever after" they were forever promising. 

 

            happily ever after.

            ok. but

            what exactly is on offer?

 

The ellipsis leaves us hanging in a zone of chance… maybe foreboding...

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Zuma Market in Antananarivo, Madag…
Zuma Market in Antananarivo, Mada…
Mt Bromo by day
Mt Bromo by day
Udaipur, India. One of the most be…
Udaipur, India. One of the most b…
Washing cars in the river water at…
Washing cars in the river water a…
Kenyan wildlife
Kenyan wildlife
Village families in Rajasthan
Village families in Rajasthan
Toronto
photo by: yasuyo