poems, poetry, staring at the sun, kerem durdag


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pablo's ocean, pablo's sky

for Mary

let me tell you a true story:
a long time ago when the world had
just been born from the womb of our mother,
there were no oceans and sky,
a poet named pablo came up to the devil and said,
give the world some water
and air.
the devil said why are you asking me?
the poet said, my father is busy.
a smile licked the face of the devil and he said,
for the water and air what will you give me
to which the poet said
I will give you all my words.
the devil, one who had never spoken or written eloquently
and gave the world the ocean and the sky at the dawn of the next day.
in the morning when the poet woke up
he was dumb and crippled in the hands;
he went outside and saw the blue ocean
the blue sky
walked up to the house of the devil;
the devil wasn't anywhere...
he went behind to the garden where the fig trees were
and he saw the devil in mortal agony
doubled over, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth,
eyes rolling over, skin wasting away from his skin,
the devil moaned, you killed me.
that was the last words he spoke.
the poet smiled,
walked back to the ocean,
dived in
floated away face up
and disappeared.
that is why on days when the sun clasps the
ocean and sky together to breath forth the secrets
of all of us and all of everything,
you will see the waves
curl up and not crash,
the air will rise and not abate,
and you will hear a voice say
this is your ocean
this is your sky
and the devil has been dead for a very long time.

By Kerem Durdag

Lapiz Lazuli

for Charles Bukowski

Sometimes, after I come from work, I want to hang upside down
from the ceiling in my
apartment. I want to grab onto
that blood rush. The other day
I am driving from work and
singing at the top of my lungs,
my other colleagues on the road
thinking why is this madman
not realizing he looks like an
utter fool. I say to myself,
screw them, it is my car, my music,
my space, and it is something
to kill the boredom; I hate
to see asphalt pass under me
without recognizing my presence,
my life; the asphalt will not
hypnotize me. But I want
that blood rush bad. All
the confusions of the day will
coalesce from my feet onwards
and ram into the walls of my head,
disintegrating into little frothing bubbles
of laughter. It is a small
thing to ask. A small rush, a
tiny addiction. The only way to
keep the hovering gargoyles of hell at bay.

By Kerem Durdag