lit/life/love in the margins
Friend of mine recently found a 1975 copy of Gary Snyder’s Turtle Island in a Goodwill store. Inside a woman named Paula had written a quote (actually the ending paragraph) from The Lover by Duras and then this note to Jon:
You were my birthday present; you came to the door–no one else was home. you said “let’s celebrate.” We dropped acid and went to the friend with the nocturnal monkey-like animal and made love for hours.
I fell totally, naively, in love, so when you took me home in the morning I cried. I thought–but did not say–how could you walk away from perfect love? You kissed my eyes and said “We love, we’ll meet soon.”
I wrote poetry and drew my love passionately to you no longer caring if the love was returned.
You wrote you were coming. Filled with the innocent love of an eighteen year old romantic who’d never been in love, I made a dress of gathered silk and braided tiny strands of my hair.
We went to Randolph Park and left our friends on the golf course to be alone. You laid me down and kissed me and when you entered me I felt a passion like an uncontrollable, unthinking itch to pull you further inside me–a desire that seemed so close and yet not quite fulfilled. It was as if my entire self had been waiting for you, just you, and you were almost me, almost there, almost perfect. Then it was–and I was totally blissful and whole and at that moment you cried “You’re coming already.” I was delighted by the wonder and surprise in your voice but mostly–fundamentally and completely–perfect–perfectly at peace with you inside me as if nothing could ever take that away–as if nothing else would ever matter.
I cried when I was with you this time more than twenty years later. I cried because again it was perfect–it was god/goddess it was the reason for life and yet I knew it would end. I told you it reminded me of the transitory nature of life; such abstract words.
Today we are with different lovers. That last day I did not cry. i let our love be universal. “Don’t take it personally” you said. I told you maybe I liked being morose. Maybe I should be named crying something.
You bring up from inside me the sorrows and pains of loss. We try to accept them, but they are as real as the rain.
I carry you with me still and always will–until death
Paula Crying Something
Not to be syrupy, but this found text made me think.
About Paula Crying Something.
About Gary Snyder and his Robin poems.
About how this book made its way to a thrift store.