Journey to the End of the Night


Journey to the End of the Night

With a bottle of Belgian beer, I sit among pigeon
feathers and broken black branches and a choir
of darkening leaves, the murky Landwerkanal
gliding past my feet, the choppy ripples reflecting
aureoles of green and amber patches and the flat
white of a solitary swan floating silently through
the mists.

I watch it pass, watch the clouds eat
a maple tree and the Ferris wheel and the purple
geese and I watch the remaining fragments
of the sun as night comes and places a shadow
upon me. I am not supposed to be here.
I am standing on the wrong continent. I am following
the wrong orchestra. I have strayed from the people.
I am not supposed to be here.

And yet here I am,
half-drunk, my mind ecstatic, my heart torn apart
by golden
salamanders by the glittering
pallet knife of some mad expressionist
painter. In a word, by love.
I sit listening
to carnival music carried over the waters.


24 thoughts on “Journey to the End of the Night

  1. Question: did you also paint that painting? It goes so well with the poem! though both stand well, each on their own. I think I’ve lived the second-to-last stanza a few times myself.

    • I WISH I painted that Dorothea. I haven’t tried my hand much at painting… yet. I plan to get into it maybe this summer. This painting is from Ernst Ludwig Kirschner who lived in Berlin in the early 1900s. Yup, the Landwerkanal still looks the same. Thanks for the good words â˜ș

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