Smorgasbord: Overflow, Quiet Worlds, Kisses

“Everyone else seems to have the brakes on… I never feel the brakes. I overflow.”
 ~Anaïs Nin to Henry Miller

This sentence sums up my life. I incline towards the excessive. Overflow of thoughts, of words, of a vague indifference, of solitude, of fernweh, of yearnings, of independence, of anger, of songs, of poems, of a sense of wonder, of impulsiveness, of caring, of travels, of determination, of dreams, of books, of quietness, of volubility, of happiness, of melancholy, of laughter, of hopes, and of love. The brakes are defunct, vestigial. It isn’t obvious; everyone sees the invisible walls of restraints that i put up, inhabiting a narrow world of measured words and actions. That’s a perception i don’t try to correct; a very few people can be accommodated in my inner world, the one without any brakes; they know this world, and it’s enough.
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If it was possible, i would curl up for a nap in a poem. I would gobble a poem whole. I would plant millions of poems around me, and pluck them at will. I would stuff  poem in a pillow and let it caress me every night. I might even allow a poem to put coffee stains on my books. That’s how a good poem makes me feel.
I want to share two of my favorite poems by Jeffrey McDaniel tonight. ‘The Quiet World‘ is in sync with the wordless love I am forced to live, having brakes on for the first time in my life. I am a mute lover. Unsaid words die in my mouth every night as I wait. ‘The Archipelago of Kisses‘ is a encyclopedia of this endearing gesture of love. May the pants of the people who claim that they don’t like kisses drop in public! From an overflow to relative scarcity, from meaningless to being steeped with meaning, from fleeting ones to the ones that claim you, from sloppy to sensuous, from dizzying to a comforting habit; kisses grow with us. I still wait for the ‘I will love you through a brick wall‘ kiss and ‘I will swim through the Earth for you‘ kiss; have you found that mouth yet?

The Quiet World
In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

 ~Jeffrey McDaniel
 The Archipelago Of Kisses


We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don’t
grow on trees, like in the old days. So where
does one find love? When you’re sixteen it’s easy,
like being unleashed with a credit card
in a department store of kisses. There’s the first kiss.
The sloppy kiss. The peck.
The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The we
shouldn’t be doing this kiss. The but your lips
taste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.
The I wish you’d quit smoking kiss.
The I accept your apology, but you make me really mad
sometimes kiss. The I know
your tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you get
older, kisses become scarce. You’ll be driving
home and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road,
with its purple thumb out. If you
were younger, you’d pull over, slide open the mouth’s
red door just to see how it fits. Oh where
does one find love?
If you rub two glances, you get a smile.

Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.
Now what? Don’t invite the kiss over
and answer the door in your underwear. It’ll get suspicious
and stare at your toes. Don’t water the kiss with whiskey.
It’ll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters,
but in the morning it’ll be ashamed and sneak out of
your body without saying good-bye,
and you’ll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it left
on the inside of your mouth. You must
nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it
illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest
and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a
special beach. Place it on the tongue’s pillow,
then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneath
a Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.
But one kiss levitates above all the others. The
intersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.
The I’ll love you through a brick wall kiss.
Even when I’m dead, I’ll swim through the Earth,
like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.

~Jeffrey McDaniel

(Pics Courtesy: 1. Overflow painting by Natalie Houston; Pics from Google Images)

Layers

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Layers. The word has always intrigued me. We are never in a rigid mould; there is a fluidity to our personalities, ever changing, as we pile on new layers, and peel off others.

Some are carefully wrapped and covered; few of them need digging to be discovered; and the rest are glaringly visible. My family, and especially my sister, knows me better than anyone else; but there are still unseen layers, subtle, hidden. Friends know what I want them to know. To a few I have revealed more than the rest, but then on a good day, I am ten different persons from dawn to dusk. A goof or a lover; a dreamer or a doer; a compassionate caregiver or a selfish bitch; someone with a secret or an open book; book lover or manic jogger; resilient or vulnerable; a fiery temper or monk like calm; insightful or idiot; voluble or loner; it is hard to say which facet would emerge when.
I still discover new layers ever so often. Impatience and impulsiveness is ingrained in my very core; yet I recently discovered that I too could be patient, I too could let things be, and let go of things without a fuss. That felt good, finding this new layer. It’s a puzzle, hard work, digging them up, and knowing them for what they are, deciding what to keep and what to discard, what to reveal and what to conceal, and to whom.
But it is a dear wish that someday someone somewhere would have as much fun peeling off the layers, knowing me, and loving me, as I would have in knowing and loving him for who he is. The above sentence didn’t have any sexual innuendo though.