Beatles Saudade

Saudade
A feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia.

The thought came to me as I listened to Abbey Road apathetically,
Glancing up at a mirrored ceiling—
En vogue in the late ‘70s, tacky by the early ’80s—
The more I stared into my eyes,
Pupils eclipsing their Milky-Way-brown irises,
The farther I felt from myself.

My past floated lazily like a striped, annular flotation device
On a pool of what I held in my mind up to that point:
Deep enough to drown in, but shallow enough to see the sun
Gleam past molten glass vitrines insulating the wet from the dry,
Dancing flames on the arabesque-tiled sphere.

I could see individual drops of water as clearly as pearl grains:
Each a moment in time—
Of pain, joy, sorrow, fear,
Songs I loved, ones forgotten;
Canticles of undying youth, sung out of the mouth of babes and sucklings,
Their backbeat jangling crystalline out of sunburst hollow bodies—
Multiplied as tears wept awakening from a dream,
Their imperfect sphericality, thousands of moons
Glowing with feeling-light— the tumult of being— thrashed the once still pool,
As tepid, calm breezes, unbeknownst to all, slowly morph into violent storms.

The lifesaver, exiled relic proving Pepperland’s existence,
Rapidly pinwheeled 33 1/3 revolutions per minute:
Candy cane, barber’s pole, lollipop swirl,
Moptops, LP-black, questioning a world full of questions,
Their melodies detaching problems from their consequence, not their weight;
A galaxy of neumes traversing the entirety of my ears.

The blackness of the gyrating disc concaved into a singularity,
A spider knitting its web in the midst of the storm—
A translucent house filled with empty people—
Strong enough to balance a walrus, high enough to befuddle an eagle,
Yet it’s frailty clear in the impending tide’s stultifying massacre.

Seemingly vicious, the arachnid invoked a paralyzing spell on all who stared,
But the fortress built around herself,
To protect her from a world much bigger and dangerous,
One whose full extent she would never know existed,
Relied on the architecture of others—
Man-made or God-spoken creation— to secure her livelihood
For nourishment, binding her wounds, and hiding forever in her loneliness.

Oblivion of the lifelines she cast out, one after one,
By one swift, five-fingered strum, could bring
Heartache’s wounding blow.

 

Artwork

Oseguera, Jose L. (2018). A Galaxy of Neumes[Image]. Los Angeles, CA.