Saint Lucia (An Epic)

Saint Lucia

(An Epic)

IV

We Tourists

A bus ride a boat ride bus ride garden and waterfall lunch bus ride bubbling mud in a Sulphur

scar in the greenery

a boat ride snorkeling

 

Yellow and black vertical striped small angel fish

Grey and blue long horizontal stripes bigger fish

Blue sparkly-headed average sized fish

Black spiked balls on the bottom with brain coral and waving sea fans

 

Bus ride to the resort

All programmed timed and portioned out.

Advertisements

Saint Lucia (An Epic)

Saint Lucia

(An Epic)

III

Perceptions of a New Nation’s Identity

450 years of being colonized

Only sovereign 39 years

Who is Saint Lucia?

Gruff unsmiling locals

Are they unhappy, resentful?

Left over from imperialist exploitation?

Half-Indigenous, half British

But servant class-servant race

Imposed

Private, very private affection shielded from tourists

Gruff, but with breaks of personality, of endearment

Moderate beginning growing familiarity with the Island and the Resort’s locals

After dinner the band played everybody danced smiled

Tourists staff and housekeeping smiles

The resort power outage and on again and off and on during a rainstorm

 

I asked everybody all day where Nick the Rasta Man was

Nick came up to us at lunch

I asked Nick the Rasta Man to make me two bracelets in the same pattern as the chokers I bought

Later, bringing them, Nick sat at our table and talked with us for a while

 

All grows on me as the Island-a wild Island-begins to grow on me

Where will Saint Lucia be in 10 years?

Saint Lucia (An Epic)

I am posting a poem called “Saint Lucia (An Epic)” over a few days.  It is a long poem in 5 parts.  I am posting one part per day.  Yesterday I posted part I.  Today I post part II.  My girlfriend said that passages in part II sound racist.  My intention is social criticism, not racism and I hope that readers will understand my intention.

II

Arrival: The Resort

Beyond words, beyond generous

Our luxurious resort home for a week

Riding through impoverished exclusively Afric locals

We few white riding into opulence

Did I detect resentment in our driver’s responses to our questions?

 

Morning coffee overlooking the ocean

Reflecting about self, self-esteem, why we are who we are

What we want, what we wish for out of life

 

Last night I saw the Southern Cross for the first time

My camera can’t photograph it

It belongs to the sky—the dark, night sky

 

Breakfast and the pool for a while and some Wallace Stevens

A Hobie-Cat, a snack, and some Wallace Stevens

The pride of the atheist and texts of atheism

Smart words

 

We few white

Pleasant indolence, calm, tranquil

And some Earl Klugh

And there is no time but the clocks and the calendars mark it

What day is it today?

Is it Tuesday?

And enjoying Joe Zawinul

The easy pace-in everything-leads me to wonder if my life in the city is too frenetic

Saint Lucia (An Epic)

Over the next 5 days I will be posting:

Saint Lucia

(An Epic)

It is an extended poem in 5 sections, about my first visit to Saint Lucia.  To make the post manageable, I will not post the whole poem at once, but will do it one section a day.  This day’s post is the departure and trip to Saint Lucia.

Saint lucia

(An Epic)

I

Departure

Home and the family farm

And the departure and the road and travel and time

Anticipation and passing time

Music and the road and a little writing

Travelling and time

And music in the truck and a little talking and a nap

Time and travelling

The overnight hotel by the airport

The swimming pool after dinner

Reclining in our room before sleeping

 

Fire in the control tower

And we waited for the plane’s push-back

Take-off delayed an hour

And boredom and anticipation

And sitting 37,000 feet above the Atlantic

And time and iPod headphones

An hour, hours, another hour

Two ours left “Time’s going fast,” Carol said

And strains of Bach’s Cello Suite #6

And a little writing

Half nodding off and nodding off

Landing, immigration, customs

A new world, tropical

Saint Lucia

Blues Club

I was wearing my city face

And I didn’t make eye-contact

When people looked my way, I didn’t see

There were too many unfortunate consequences

If you made eye-contact or saw others

I didn’t hate

There were just too many unfortunate consequences

I show love

Not here

Isolation, alienation

Here, and substance abuse, and bombast

But for live music, I wouldn’t be here

But for my solitary home life I wouldn’t be here

But for my sensitive intellect

I might communicate

Some desperate, broken, obnoxious seek community, here

As I did, years ago

She’s not with me tonight

Nor the network stemming from her, from us

Not here, now, but with me, still, even now

The band’s on break and I’m alone

Not in life

Just here

By design

Judgement Upon Life

I haven’t begun my life, at thirty six.

Marilyn was dead by then.

Was that a life?

Is there ever a life?

Will alienation

 

From childhood define time

Ambition, contention, compromise, corruption

Pass the years that wear

Complex adjustments upon sincerity

 

Until genuine doubt about how

Much sincerity is dissipate

Defines life.

As time passes–judgement upon life.

Three Billboards Outside Hamlet

What is it with Hollywood and dark stories?  So I’ll add Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri to my list.  That list is highly acclaimed movies that are gratuitously dark.  On the list are Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, and even though it isn’t highly acclaimed, Avengers: Infinity War.  What I found so uninteresting about Three Billboards is that it is a study of hate and revenge.  The movie showed us different ways and reasons and expressions of hate and different ways to take revenge.  For two hours.  Then, in the concluding 15 minutes, there was forgiveness and humanity as Mildred and Jason decide not to murder a rapist.  While I was watching, I asked myself, “Do I want to watch two hours of hate and revenge?  To what purpose?”  No.  I don’t.  I’m beginning to think I’ll have to take a vacation from Hollywood, as I did with pop music during the disco period.

Do we like to watch human darkness?  Do we want to pay money to watch hate and revenge?  For two hours?  Is life dark in its essence?  My life isn’t.  And the life of my friends isn’t.  And neither I nor my friends are living in existential bad faith.  We’re just living our lives.  Authentically.  There may be some philosophical currents that claim life is dark.  The Borg in Star Trek were created because viewers wanted a darker story.  Why?  What’s so great about darkness?  I think that people who crave dark stories are living in bad faith because I’m guessing that their lives aren’t all that dark, either.

Then I thought about really great art.  Many of Shakespeare’s plays are tragic.  They dramatize the lust for power, prejudice, the lust for revenge, hatred, anger, death, and other themes that are hard to watch.  And Sophocles not only wrote about murder, he wrote about incest.

Yet I enjoy Shakespeare.  And the darkness in it doesn’t put me off.  I think that the difference with Shakespeare is that there is nobility in it, too.  Of course I need not even mention the beauty of the language–the perfect marriage of sound and sense.  Shakespeare tears one’s heart open.  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri just bored me with the incessant rage and petty revenge.  It wasn’t even all that true to life, as people, generally, don’t burn down police stations.

Plato had a real problem with well-done evil.  The Greek word kala means good and beautiful.  So it was a real question how you could have a beautiful ugliness.  Shakespeare isn’t wholly ugly in its beauty, with the noble impulses motivating his characters.  There is no nobility in Three Billboards, Manchester by the Sea, or Moonlight.  There is only base and unlovely humanity.

The Bee Gees are considered a great band by some.  And Boogie-oogie-oogie, the disco song, won a Grammy.  But when I had to live through the disco period, I turned exclusively to Classical Music until better pop music came back.  Looks like I’m going to have to do that with Hollywood, now.  Hope it won’t take too long.

Previous Older Entries