Thursday, June 10, 2010

Travel Stupor

Poem of the Day:
"Paradise Motel" by Charles Simic
Sixty Poems

Today I spent nearly 5 hours on a bus, 1.5 hours on a train and 40 minutes in a car in order to see my younger sister graduate from high school this weekend; it will be worth the numb legs and boredom. But, a natural consequence of so much traveling in one day is travel stupor. It is a daze that persists from the train/bus/plane/rocket; when one stares out of the window for hours on end one begins to stare at the day sans travel, blankly, for hours on end.

There is a similar awareness of visual numbness in Simic's poem, though the content is much different. Simic concerns himself with the boundaries that separate violence and love, and how such edges are blurring; "There were so many soldiers that day,/So many refugees crowding the roads...On the pay channel, a man and a woman/Were trading hungry kisses and tearing off/Each other's clothes while I looked on" (lines 8-15). Simic, or rather the speaker of Simic's poem, watches the pornographic film "[W]ith the sound off and the room dark" (line 16), further submitting the images to a decontextualization (I think I just fabricated this word) and a washing.

Simic's speaker is dazed by the television screen, sees nothing but the color, and how it has "too much red in it, too much pink" (line 18). In this hue remark he draws the final link between love and violence, love-making and blood.

Though the visual haze of Simic's speaker leads to a profound realization, mine has not thus far. Rather, I am merely dazed from sitting on a bus for too long, tuning out the crazed honking bus driver, day-dreaming in place of an iPod which was left behind and wondering how much of my life has been spent trying to get from one place to the next -- well now, lookie here, there's some profoundness amidst the daze after all!

A Poem A Day Audrey


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