Thus Spake Zagajewski

Photo by Alister 11/22/07

Anyone see the following poem in the 11/26/07 The New Yorker? Wow. Pretty much captures the human dilemma…

“Our life is ordinary,
I read in a crumpled paper
abandoned on a bench.
Our life is ordinary,
the philosophers told me.

Ordinary life, ordinary days and cares,
a concert, a conversation,
strolls on the town’s outskirts,
good news, bad—

but objects and thoughts
were unfinished somehow,
rough drafts.

Houses and trees
desired something more
and in summer green meadows
covered the volcanic planet
like an overcoat tossed upon the ocean.

Black cinemas crave light,
Forests breathe feverishly,
clouds sing softly,
a golden oriole prays for rain.
Ordinary life desires.

–Adam Zagajewski
(Translated from the Polish, by Clare Cavanagh)”

“YES!” the captured, tormented thing within me leaps in solidarity from its place which, if I knew exactly where it resided, I’d do up good like the USA is doing Iraq and the war on terrorism in general. I would make pitiful headway, become hopelessly embroiled in controversy and entangled in bad press, lose respect, and the thing would, in the end, still be quite alive and well. Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy K…

Desires are nuisances from hell for sure when you’re a divided front. And reprogramming human conditioning is like chiseling the ten commandments off their stone tablets in mere preparation to begin chiseling on new ones with no guarantee that they won’t be obsolete by the time you finish.

And you ma’am, what would you like to order?
I’ll just have what Randle McMurphy’s having, please.


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