I believe it to be Monday

by jhon baker

Monday morning, as I am an insomniac I’ve decided that posting this at 3 am is the best thing for me to do at 3 am.
This poem was published here not that long ago, I’ve wanted to repost it as the line breaks were removed from it for some reason. I hold no grudge but it reads better this way. It’s one of my favorites which probably means it isn’t very good. I think it is, the life forms looking through the windows remain silent on it while others have expressed interest but they don’t count as you can never expect people who care for you to be honest in such matters.
I am thinking about why more poets aren’t crazy these days, I think the answer to be simply that they are not poets. It is believed in the science community that about 95% of Poets (as opposed to people who write poetry to get laid) have a diagnosable mental disorder – while only 28% of the sciences. (professor Arnold Ludwig, MD, “method and madness in the arts and sciences”)
I am not Catholic but my favorite of the Saints is the relatively unknown – Juan Grande Pecador – which translates as – John The Great Liar.
I am responsible for the translation of de Andrade’s poem at the beginning, if there are any errors in this wonderful poem they are all mine and not his.

I SKETCH UMBRELLAS
TO REMIND.
OR,  JUAN GRANDE PECADOR   

“and now, José
the party’s over,
the lights out,
the people left,
the night turned cold,
and now, José?
and now, you…”
–    Carols Drummond de Andrade (trans. J. Baker)

1.

I sketch umbrellas to
remind,
and that I am tired of
being only a man.

Hungry all the time,
eating  avocado chicken
and tuna fish.
Drinking only coffee,
   water;
and sketching umbrellas
looking out from
third floor
balconies.

Closing mouth to
emulate good men, wise
to not debate with
women, enjoy
dreaming of youth but
disappointed in memory.
I am tired from this
and being only a man.

Naked and not
   entirely unbeautiful.
lights on, off,
standing, lying down.
Showing scars from
deep wounds.
Innumerable on my,
arms, chest, legs.
Chicago, Seattle,
South California tattoos,
trying to define shape
and color of self.
I am tired of this body
and being only a man.

I sketch Umbrellas
to remind.

2.

Juan Grande,
I am your son but
you are tireless.
Juan Grande,
I am you student.
Tired
from looking, or
searching or
questioning
or being
only a man.
Juan Grande,
how do you cope?

Juan Grande, I
use a typewriter because
it does not correct me and
it is faster then pencils.
Juan Grande,
I cannot be a
Saint because I am not dead.
I am not dead
tho’ I do not feel lucky
because of it.

I am only a man,
and in that, only
your progeny.

Juan Grande,
not nameless but
unknown father.
How is it that that
you made confession,
how is it that
you came to be a saint.

I sketch umbrellas
to remind,
and that I am tired
from being only a man.

I recognize
death, its face
and proximity. I
do not regret my life or
that I am only a man.
I am only a man
sketching umbrellas
to remind.

3.

Woman.
I am you lover
entering the bedroom,
distressing the bed.
Not dissimilar to tilting
at windmills trying
to surmount destiny,
or hallucination.

Woman, I am tired
from being a man,
cleaned body washed
on rocks by the shore.
I am tired from this.
Incapable of more
and incapable of less.

Woman,
it is late now and
you are still with me.
Tho’ I’ve offered nothing,
tho’ I will offer nothing.
You are still with me
tho’ I am broken
and resplendent with
anger. Tho’ I clench fists
at phantoms and shadows.
Tho’ I am only a man,
I sketch umbrellas
to remind.

4.

and lastly.

Stopping for a moment
to collect my thoughts.
I think of this attempt
at beauty. It is not an
attempt at describing your aversion
to be naked in the confines of
a shuddered apartment.
It is an attempt to show that,
even tho’ rarely thought about
or admitted,
nakedness is not hideous.

After all,
I am naked and not
entirely unbeautiful.
Only tired and
sketching umbrellas to
remind.

 – I wrote this.

I’ve noticed that, as where I don’t look at the keyboard while I type, I make a lot of mistakes while typing in the dark. Please indicate corrections that are necessitated by this lack of ability.

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