Daily Archives: June 5, 2016

Zucchero

In my late grandmother’s pantry
a leftover box of Italian sugar,
sole ingredient: “Zucchero.”
That is also the name of
an Italian blues musician.
I’ve never heard his music.
I’m ok with that, not because
I don’t want to hear it but because
I’m happy enough just knowing it exists.
I don’t have to experience everything
any more.  Not, for instance, planning
to dip my finger into the box —
I know what sugar tastes like.
I know what the blues are like, too.
I can’t know perfectly all things
in every detail, although once I slew
several of my better selves
and some worse ones
in the pursuit of such knowledge.
Driven to know everyone and
everything; such knowledge was all 
I had. I didn’t feel pretty or strong
or confident or human but the more I knew
the more I could fake those things. I bet
someone thinks an Italian blues musician
is faking it but I don’t. I don’t
know everything but I know 
blues, blues and sugar,
sour and sweet; blues e zucchero,
aspro e dolce. I got the blues
for my lost youth and my vain
pursuits. I got the blues
for my grandmother’s cooking.
She’d cook and then sigh on a chair
in her kitchen, wishing my grandfather
was still alive. He died the same year
Robert Johnson did. So did she.
It was long before I was born.
I missed so much.
I can never catch up,
I can’t be satisfied,
and I’m done trying.


The Proper Perspective

Originally posted 9/25/2013.

Love’s not worth
the worry. You either
have it or don’t, are loved or
are not.  Simple enough;

devastating enough.
You can’t worry about it
to the point of no return.
Worry instead till just

before that point. Say there’s a pair 
of eyes that wreck you often. Why worry
about wrecking — you will 
or will not crash, they’ll turn your way

or stay fixed elsewhere, 
and there’s nothing you can do about it. 
What else is there to do —
obsess about them

until  
you don’t see
the bridge abutment
looming?

Love’s neither voluntary
nor subject to reason, so
sitting with your head in your hands,
utterly controlled by love, is foolish — 

rest your head
directly on your desk instead
and save your arms from fatigue.
Rest it there repeatedly, in fact,

several times a minute.
It will hurt less than worrying
about love.  You’ll see — eventually
you’ll pass out and love

will fall into
its proper perspective
of blackout and pain
at which point

you may still be worried about love
but no one will be the wiser —
and maybe, just maybe,
you’ll awake with amnesia.