The Faith of the Poet


The Faith of the Poet

This night is a darkness, a ruin, a boneyard of projects and possibility come to nothing, a wreck of years that claws at my impoverished spirit. The dawn is but a rumor, and I have little inclination to go on.

I have taken refuge in beauty and found solace there — in a coffee joint or a tavern where the air is thick with a poetry of hope, rich with the dregs of despair and the ashes of love betrayed, witness to desire

fierce enough to haunt the dream of the lovely María Carlotta who with a bottle of decent red wine, a thin blue shawl, and a cigarette to warm her inhabits a café table in the hip district of Reykjavík through days of winter night,

while I wait for the sun to shine in my head again. I have known beauty, and while I know too little of beauty now at this particular moment of things, I trust in the memory of what has been and the rhetoric of what may yet come to pass... this carousel of verses flung

across the tender night punctuated by cups of espresso dark and bitter as the women who find their way into my heart.

The snow falls with a flavor of tears that sweep across the boulevards and avenues that lead to museums and orchestras whose cellos and violins haunt us in our despair while our own tears sink into the black earth outside the window where I sit with my pen and my paper and of course my drink in a glory of wasted time and goofing off truly at the heart of a poet’s occupation,

awaiting the lovely María Carlotta who will reward this foolish abundance of hope I cherish in my heart, the lovely María Carlotta who when she brings me a book of poems by Pablo Neruda offers without reservation an eroticism of grace born in the deeps of her eyes and softness of her breasts.

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David Matthews

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