Upper East Side Dreaming (Manhattan) - Poem by Liberatore Suffoletta
From beyond the skyscrapers,
across the hundreds of thousands of high brick walls,
the cry of a seagull finds you
in your insomnia in the middle of the night,
and you remember
that this desert of iron and cement
is an island asleep;
that knows no longer the fatigue of work
or deciding, which work to finish.
It sleeps, it has no longer to strain,
to force itself,
to require of itself that which it cannot do.
It no longer bears the cross of that interior life
which proscribes rest, distraction, weakness;
it sleeps and thinks no longer,
it has no more duties or chores, no, no,
Though at any of it’s somnambulistic street corners
the feeling of absurdity
can strike anyone in the face.
Manhattan is dirty.
It has pigeons and black roof tops, fenced yards.
and the people have white skin
A society of merchants
Who measure their fortunes,
not by the acre of land
or the ingot of gold,
but by the number of figures
to a certain number
of exchange operations,
thereby condemning themselves
to setting a certain kind of humbug
at the center of their experience
an artificial society
where carnal truth
is also something artificial
and I, now, old and tired, oh!
I envy that it sleeps and will not soon die.
As usual now, I finish the day before the mountains,
sumptuous this evening beneath the moon,
which writes Roman symbols
with phosphorescent streaks
on the slow moving peaks.
There is no end to the blue sky
and the snow caps.
How well they accompany sadness!
it is the hour at which, long ago,
I felt happy.
What always awaited me then
was a light and dreamless sleep.
something has changed because,
with the wait for tomorrow,
it is my cell that I have found.
As if all the familiar paths
traced in the summer skies
will not lead to innocent slumbers
one can no longer be happy in exile
or in oblivion.
One cannot always be a stranger.
I want feverishly to return
to my homeland,
to make all my loved ones happy.
I dream no further than this.
For in order to exist just once in the world,
it is necessary never again to be.
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