Thursday, November 7, 2019

Russell Rosander asks, Can You Hear Me Now?

photo © Mark Butkus 2019
The naked artist's palette.

I step outside, naked into the night,
into the swirl of distant starlight,
spinning timelessly overhead.
I am hoping for a better connection
to facilitate my resurrection from slumber,
but all there is is the staccatic interruption
of half words and disembodied syllables unintelligible
intermingling with the infernal buzz of mosquitoes
probing my inadequate defenses.
Can you hear me now?
Can you hear me now?
Can you hear me now?
Somewhere in this infinite darkness
there is another soul,
fluctuating now in hard plastic ,
or encased in some other constriction
of his or her own making
beyond these broken airwaves
pulsing in the night amidst
the winking lights of fireflies.
Here, up from my quiet slumber
I find myself in the urgency of our condition
in the incompletion of our connection.
There is my desire for the animal warmth of touch,
absent from our intellectual
and technological potentialities.
I am reminded of the brutality
of our acculturated defenses,
the fearful price of our control.
We imprison ourselves in the impenetrable,
constructions of concrete, metal and mind
seeking permanence and protection
from our otherness
and thus we become our separateness
oh so easily and safely.
We blind ourselves to the eyes of others
while walking the hard concrete paths
of city sidewalks,
so complete in our isolation
that not even
the tiny images illuminated
on smartphone screens
can penetrate the wall.
Thus we long to belong.
Thus we desire the blazing fires
of freed spirits dancing in moonlight
and to gaze into the liquid eyes
of unrestrained wildness,
unknown and untamed,
or simply to touch the yielding forgiveness of skin,
or the sensuous tender green stems of plants,
or to hear the distant voice of someone loved.
Now I press the illusory red bar
in the window of this technological device
which has failed to penetrate
the thorny maze of my wilderness,
my peace,  and my aloneness.
and enter the soft brilliance of dream light…
I close the door and return to my bed

Can you hear me now?
Can you hear me now?

— Russell Rosander

An artist and poet living in the Costalegre of Mexico, Russell Rosander is also a co-founder of the Bar None Group. The Poet Laureate of Barra de Navidad hosts weekly readings and discussions on poetry, art, music and literature...but mostly poetry at Chynna's Backstage Bar and Blue Wave Cafe. You can find more of his writing at Russell Rosander Short Stories.

Can You Hear Me Now? is from Russell's 2019 chapbook of poetry Messages from the Other Side of Light. Russell has four other limited edition volumes of poetry — Heart of One, The Devil is the Creator, MotMots Emergency and Seeds Awakening — available for purchase at his Friday appearances at Not Hector's Corner Bar in Barra de Navidad. Copies are also available at Babalu's Café and Books in Melaque, Jalisco, Mexico.

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