If Only I Had a Polaroid of Alexander Leschetizky
In Vienna I found stupidity, tragedy, comedy
but I never did find myself. In all the blue cafés
and brownstone Bostonian hotels where so
many Blue Russian cats sleep lazily, I found
myself laying down on the warm wet stones
of a doorway to a strange room, a strange
accident. I cannot remember ever being in
Berlin, London or Boston,
I forget the way in which
I found myself,
I hear the bitter emphasis in Time's tones, yet
I ignore them, always seeing them as places.
Sparks in the constellations, with stars.
Old oceans and the leviathan whales,
Blue avenues of burned and bruised curiosities...
the city's tenements in contempt.
We reach for our own Darwin dogmas of self-perception
yet always seem to find the opposites
the other ways
the other sides
the other mirrors
the less attractions.
(I had never carried a camera).
Should I blame the pulse and
pupils of Alexander Leschetizky?
(cousin to the great Polish composer Theodor).
The months and hours and days of borrowed
Hungarian notebooks slip by...
He'd say, "your father never gave you
any maps en route to the Great Opus Discovery;
the courses of language; Thelema, True Will,
the endlessly catalogued enigmas of seasons;
those great Bacchanalian beaches." And of course I
never understood a single word from his
winter's overcoat single malt breath. But he was there.
Among the suburban libraries
or booklined labyrinths; I'd see him through
the blue clouds of cigar smoke
in the old pubs, the Rathaus, the Staatsoper
in the off-mazes with no tour guides...
He introduced me to the hypocrisies of the Orchestra
and politics; how to recall time in familiar smells...
"There is always logic in this fucked up world."
(How now I wish I had a Polaroid of Alexander Leschetizky).
"Find the kind in kindling and you'll find
your kin...". Some seven odd years ago.
I heard he died horribly in a train crash
outside of Munich. Or Warszawa.
It was winter.
Venus shone bright in that dead-black night-sky,
eldritch and nebulous like the night beyond...
the lesser for Mars.
I've forgotten what he'd look like
but whenever I smell tobacco I get
an odd feeling that he is close by.
So I wandered, wondering, down the Blue Danube
and find, found, myself lost on some other
grim geography, lost highway, scatttering through
the elements of history in a new, different country
vanished at each street corner,
with the lost market vendors
those market square heroes;
the cats always already there,
the smell of dried potpourri,
heavy drapes drawn thru dull golden yellows
while old lovers discover their lines,
the music; white lillies and blue orchids
in the backyard gardens...
Restless dogs in the distance with the police sirens
and the street punks like gunshots,
human fraility relinquished in the smells
of lemon scented teas
(I recall how he loved Bach and Mozart. Later Beethoven
and even later, the Beatles. Not the Stones.
How he'd laugh when I'd say how the English
band Yes are classically inspired; progressive...
"Only Wakeman," he'd utter in his mysterious way,
then whistle the melody of Roundabout
I think now he might have come to like Opeth,
particularly Blackwater Park, and more...
given the chance).
Life is so full of spiritual difficulties, so it's
important to count the cracks in the sidewalks,
those dark steps in Morhdorh...
Those precious, priceless experiences
only poets and comedians ever conceive.
This life designed for pomp and calvacades;
torn down M. Strasse Boulevard to rediscovery,
the red tomorrows. Perhaps they were the same
man, in a sense (Leschetizky & my father)?
somewhere, elsewhere, always
They were both occult mystics in the Aleister Crowley way
and had fought in the Second War, together;
only Leschetizky came back; my mum then overdosed
on Valium and Vodka Tonics.
I was reborn that autumn, but not in a religious way...
leaves falling all around. A sonata...
Some day I'll return to Vienna, someday
I'll even remember to return to myself.