NYU Black Renaissance Noire Spring 2015 - Page 99

II “No, it’s really three stars to the left.” Ok. You win; I’ll go. Yet I am reluctant to leave that yellow moon; it turns like a distant candle down the sky. It’d be great if Cal finishes that poem. He knows the art of clarity and compression and his images roll and wake like a dolphin. The rhythms are close to our everyday speech, tight, muscular, and with verbs that spin the lines into a painting. The form firm, like a good woman’s. The discipline strengthens his metaphors by deepening and extending their meanings. They have shadows that also speak clearly and to the point. Let me see, how did the last one go? BRN-SPRING-2015.indb 97 “What’s your mania, Zock? The wind with its long memory of the sea? Do you know which is the stronger force? The sea pushing you into the wind, or the wind drawing you back to the sea? Perhaps it’s both dissolving into a single force. No, it isn’t a nihilist’s fantasia. You don’t think either force is negative. They are simply what the Muse once told you in a dream. Destructive sometimes, but that’s different from negative. Nature came before we were specks on the water. But to you, they’re as enchanting as a descending sun or emerging moon. Yes, there’s nothing more healing than to be swept away by a tumbling surf or a weaving wind, or a wind catching hold of the sails of a sloop on high seas. I don’t know; each time we reach a shoal, run to the end of a beach, put a shell to the ear, listen to the voices of the sea, softly time enters another circle — there’s nothing like it. It’s overwhelming, but not in a painful or static way. It’s not static, the sea, nor the wind. Now can you hear the waves talk to the land and the trees, the rivers and mountains, Zock?” Yes, Second self, but don’t push; you know, don’t push. There’s a joy that stems from the way sand feels as it squishes between your toes, a sensuousness like feathers. If you walk alone at night and take your shoes off and feel the sand, the cold sand. And you feel the sand’s not really cold but soothing. Agree, Master Bones? “I see you as more ghost than wit, but yes. Walking on a beach has its rewards. To hear a sandpiper in the distance, and see it rise above the cliffs before falling behind them again. And returning to the shore for another feast. It’s a kind of music of the soul. A bright canvas open to the sky: a sea bird’s screech, the long echo, a sea bird’s arc into wind, the long glide. A gift for memory — a found feeling, an awakened pulse of your place in the heart of nature.” I’m convinced. We’ll forget the party. The sea’s as visible as its smallest voice in the current and waves. We could do worse than meddle with time at the water’s edge. “You heading for the sea?” What do you think? I thought you could guess my next move. Could the devil’s piper to confusion be slipping? “Don’t become too self-satisfied, pal. That’s wishful thinking. I might be to either side of you but I’m never missing.” It figures. Did I ever have a choice? “Me push? I don’t push. I pull. I mean, you’re the pushy one. Right?” “No, so let’s go. It’s my guess it’s just over the next hill.” ...only too well, Tyrant, but aren’t we off the track? You’re bloody helpful, Second self. After you, Herr doctor. Medicine Man with the cracked rattle. I already feel the spray splash across my face. “It’s easy. You stepped off and can step back on.” BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE I’ll keep to this walk, forget about where I was going. And follow the footsteps of the moon for a while. I’ll step a little further down the night with her, and later go to the party. It could stir a laugh or a smile. Then again, it might not. A party’s always a chance and they can change like the weather. Often the way people do. But, what doesn’t? After all, the sky’s too rainbow with possibility to care about chances. I might as well go. I don’t feel like returning to the apartment and the ghosts glaring from the walls. Even if they could change to the friendly sort. Wasn’t the party about six blocks away? A wild scene with drunken gypsies riding off in a stolen police car. I think he has a mania for the Muse. Oh well, every writer has at least seven manias, and his is to sing and out drink the Ancients. 97 What a pungent night; clear and cool as the wind shifts to a slow r