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Thursday, July 19, 2012

all aLune, Jess Rizkallah

You know how people are always kind of in awe over being in the same place that some famous person once was?

Someone’s lips touched this napkin, loafers hit this carpet, knees bent to touch the handprints on this now hardened cement,

he went manic in this graveyard, she sat at this desk with this typewriter, he passed out in this pub, there was a beat he heard as his bottom graced the top of this painfully ordinary park bench that helpless souls lay their heads down on at night to duck away from the chill and the waking world as long as their eyelids allow it.

It’s weird. but it’s even weirder to look up at the moon at night and resolve some couplet in your head, pull a melody out of the light, close your eyes to see a vision you want to release into the world, doused in the residual moonlight that has rubbed onto your retinas,

and to come to some conclusion of your own from some place inside of you that the moonlight can’t always reach, but has lit the way enough to help you try to reach it yourself.
Napkins, red carpets, park benches, typewriters, and graveyards with tarnished plaques will never last as long as the same moon that all these artists you look up to looked up at themselves at one point before delving back within to pull out the art that drove you to stare up at the night sky yourself.

And it’s not even just that staring at the same rock in the sky as these people is what makes life so surreal— it’s staring at the same rock as all of the people. When you’re outside and you feel like it’s just you, the night sky, and the desire to spill yourself into it

just know that you’re Finding Yourself on the same canvas as the rest of humanity.

Sometimes I wish that poetry could be more tangible— that I could take a couplet and play with it in my hands, watching the colors turn in the sunlight; that I could twirl a sonnet out and double-dutch with it until I my legs get caught in the ropes and I trip up and fall into a river of Plath to an ocean of Eliot, prose caught in my lungs so I could cough out more than the cavities they left in my mouth.

But then I think about how we can be so eerily alone but all together at the same time and how that’s so Poetic it hurts,

and sometimes it’s okay to hurt. It keeps you human.

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