Academic journal article Chicago Review

Phantom Love

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Phantom Love

Article excerpt

Pablo Neruda, what were you doing with a lap full of orange peels, sitting in the rust colored stratolounger that someone, during night, put into Lake Michigan? You reclining head back, feet up, catching the white waves splashing like spaetzles all around you. I could hear you reciting "Elephant" "Gross innocent Saint Elephant blessed beast..."

Why a visitation here in the land of Mars Cheesecastles, knockwurst, headcheese, sheepshead, Esterhazy Schnitzel, Great Lakes Dragaway and steak tartare? Your eyes smiled daises when the heavy lady walking by you looked savagely at her husband and said: "To hell with deviled eggs."

Pablo, do you, like me, believe everywhere is beautiful, and we should try to visit all places or maybe stay in one place long enough to know everywhere and one through it until one is transparent with butterflies waiting to start their holy migration to everywhere?

How beneficently you accepted the Moosehead beer I offered you. I loved our beach volleyball game. Did you come to me because I used your line on clothes as an epigraph on the poem I wrote about my mother's hosiery? Did you come to me to relieve my terrors? Because we both love Anne Sexton & artichokes? (Does Anne Sexton read her poems in heaven?)

Did you come to me because we share a belief in an impure poetry, one soiled and stained with our "shameful behavior... vigils and dreams...declarations of loathing, love...and beasts."

I took you to the Santa Monica convent to see three nuns' coats on the convent's clothesline, each coat blown full and black with God. …

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