Daniel Brick

Gold Star - 80,163 Points (June 10,1947 / St. Paul MN)

Poems At Port Trakl Part Two - Poem by Daniel Brick

I can smell the ocean's salt air
even as I wander deep into the jungle.
Awkwardly pushing through thickets,
tripping over over undergrowth,
my sea legs are no help, I'm making
slow progress in pursuit of nothing.
My eyes devour the jungle colors, my ears
revel in hundreds of birds, visible and invisible,
their trilling, soaring, cascading songs.
This abundance - why am I not dazzled?
On the ocean voyage, colors drain out of
waves and clouds, ocean and sky merge
into the same featureless gray. And yet...
And yet that dark expanse is my deepest self.
I am turned inside out: it is my interior being
who wanders over the mountainous expanse of waters.
Deep within me, a true voice calls out, 'Oh, Ocean,
return me to your stark beauty, fill me with
your vast patience, pull me into your endless rhythm.'

It is eight hours later, and I am
cold sober. I feel a chill
over my whole body, but my brain burns
as usual... I am stalling,
in my tiny room, in this cheap hotel,
close to my beloved ocean. Oh, mighty surf!
Oh, majestic waves, unfolding the scroll
of eternity across the planet. When will I
finally merge within your rhythms, become
one with your purposeless eternity, your
endless repetition of the same hymn?
Is it not time to collect all these fragments,
and read my Fate in their broken eloquence?

There are birds, and there is the ocean.
In their constant movement, they mirror
each other. Wings or waves, flight or flow,
it is one vast reality into which I have been
thrust. At home, neither in the air,
nor in the waters, I long to be regaled
with both, Oh, the freedom of flight
through open air! Oh, the headlong motion
of ocean currents cutting across free waters!
Not for long will I be a prisoner on land:
I have signed on a steamer leaving in six days.
Already within me I am waving Port Trakl
a long farewell: 'Good bye, my third self,
nights in drunkenness, days in stupor. I leave
all the wines of the world behind.' To see birds
overhead, to feel ocean currents below, that is
enough. It is my soul's homecoming, for sure.

Topic(s) of this poem: adventure, drunkenness

Form: Free Verse

Poet's Notes about The Poem

These poems were inspired by a year 2000 poetry volume, PORT TRAKL,
by the Chilean poet Jaime Luis Huenon.

Comments about Poems At Port Trakl Part Two by Daniel Brick

  • Anita Sharma (9/21/2015 11:06:00 AM)

    brilliant write..wisely written liked much (Report) Reply

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  • Fabrizio Frosini (9/21/2015 6:01:00 AM)

    I didn't know Jaime Luis Huenun's PORT TRAKL. So I've read a few poems from this book, translated by Daniel Borzutzky. His translation (as the synopsis states) reveals Melville+Coleridge+Trakl' influence upon Huenun's work.. describing ''PORT TRAKL'' as a ''a world whose characters do not know which world they belong to, and which world they want to belong to''. TRUE!
    I find such a world a fascinating world... a personal universe for self-exiled souls.. even more surprising (or maybe just so, because of) being Huenun a Mapuche poet, who doesn't speak directly of his land and/or his ancestors' myths, but through a revisited George Trakl's rhythm, his people's sufferings are all there! And not only HIS people.. but ALL those neglected people, forgotten & forsaken...
    Now, here, another Daniel gives us a suggestive tale, after Huenun/Trakl.. using the language of Poetry in a masterly way - that is his own usual way to write and interpret POETRY..
    Thank you, dear Daniel.. EXCELSIOR! ;)
    (Report) Reply

  • Pamela Sinicrope (9/18/2015 3:13:00 PM)

    So, I clapped at the end of Part II. There is so much to love, hate and laugh about in this amazing prose. I'll think about deep commentary later, but my initial reaction is I LOVE these poems...and yes, I love allot of poems, but this one is making me smile RIGHT NOW! The wine, the ocean, the birds, the comparison of the ocean to the birds (WINGS and WAVES...I want to attend that yoga class) ... The third Daniel is FUN (except when he's binged too much and feeling hung over) ...I liked the line, When will I finally merge within your rhythms, become one with your purposeless eternity, your endless repetition of the same hymn? I personally am very drawn to the ocean, have been my whole life, and make a point to visit it as much as possible.

    I haven't read the work of Huenon...so maybe I'll look into that for another day.
    (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (9/19/2015 12:02:00 PM)

    Thanks much for your enthusiasm, Pamela! You lived this poem as you read it, it connected with your lifelong fascination with the ocean which is remarkable for land-locked people as we Minnesotans are. After the hard work and isolation of writing, your comments are like fresh water to a sailor.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 18, 2015

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