Bar Tales Chapter 8: Mirrors

Posted 3/25/2009 by smartblackboy in Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sometimes imagination makes the space around a thing
more important than the thing itself.
It is a way of defining life more by what isn’t there
than by what is.

For instance, on a Sunday afternoon,
still clad in church clothes,
going around a curve a little too fast -
either still caught up with the holy spirit,
or just happy to be free. Car careening
slightly out of control, out of the corner of your eye -

you see an old fashioned mail box
and think it is a predator, a small cougar,
or oversized bobcat, ready to venture out
into the middle of the road, ready to confront
your car in one last showdown between man and nature.

Or for instance take a boy who has lost his mother.
How his life is shaped by her absence
how he has dreams that he can’t understand:
his ex-girl friend pregnant, sitting in the doctor’s
office, trying to get an abortion,
his dead mother holding her hand.
And what else can you do, if nightmares
try to devour your soul, but transform the feelings
that haunt you, into something beautiful:
a poem, a film, a piece of art.

What are these constructs but ways
to make demons pause;
small attempts to escape from an ever shrinking cage.

Or maybe imagination is a female, who feels
torn down and worthless, and finds
a smart black boy, who prays with her
instead of fucking her, and holds her hand
as she cries until she is salty as a sunflower
seed, and glistens like a diamond.
And he looks at her and realizes that she deserves
for him to grow up and become a man
just to earn the right to love her unconditionally.

Or maybe imagination is a man who has been praying
all his life, watched his reality sink into darkness;
lost his faith in God, chatted with demons and angels,
about whose side of the fence had better grass;
who cheated on the only girl who ever loved him,
who lost his best friend, who tried to kill
himself, at least three or four times,
who walked into the woods in the freezing cold,
just hoping to disappear,

who was found wandering
around a subdivision at 4:00 am just praying for miracles,
who survived those times and all the others,
and now lives a life of passion, faith, and love.

Imagination is not settling for what life gives you.
Of realizing that the wind blowing through the trees
the sunlight that feels a little hotter coming through the glass of your car,
the pounding headaches that are preludes to creativity,
the people who you touch and the people who touch you,
the light switches and the car keys,

the small desperate moments when you are talking
to someone that needs you
For motivation, for direction, for piece of mind,

your heart still split asunder,
over a murdered brother, found suspects, and revisted ghosts

And you try to tell him that you have nothing left to give
but how can you leave lonely a soul
who might be transformed by your presence?
So even though you are weeks past
Having tears left to shed

you look up and see a man who has made girls cry all of his life

who thought, that like a cigarette, it was a habit

that could be sworn off, left forgotten like an empty beer bottle

yet girls are still breaking down all around him
; now, because he listens to them instead of hurting them
and he is emotionally drained
trying to reconcile who he was and who he is
And that there is no difference between laughter and tears.

And even though he is a man, he recognizes
that she is a mirror of himself, that she helps juveniles
when she has nothing left to give and so he helps her
when he has nothing left to give, and imagination
takes nothing and nothing and transforms it
to the most honest and beautiful and real something
that didn’t exist until you realized

that everywhere and in everyone there is God all around you.

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