What a life.
Hello! Hope this letter finds you well.
It’s been sometimes since I have written to you, which does not mean that I have not thought about you. I just have been writing for myself. To not think of you would be too hard for me, and I don’t think I know how to do that. The same way the sun does not know how to not rise every morning, even after the longest of the nights. Or the way moon doesn’t know know how not to carry a dark side, no matter how candle it your evening is. Or like all the times poets can’t hold their tears back at the conversation of a clover and a cow’s tongue. So don’t ask me to do things that are nearly impossible to do. I am tired, and was never good at following orders anyway. – I don’t know how to not think of you.
You know how it is, this being human. I have no excuses really, besides being busy. I have been busy with these existential states of my being, wrapped in enough paper work to make any Kafka story look like a kindergartener’s homework. And when I am not piling papers on top of each other, I get cooped up in my own mind, which has more rooms than I could ever visit and remember who and what occupies them. Ah mon chér, I know always talk about building a house with no roof, no window, no doors, but then again, I always end up forgetting my goals; like that one time I got carried away by the sound of your laughter, when I was racing to kiss the windows of our house before the rain drops. If you remember, when I got there my ears were full of the sweet nectar of your laughter, and windows were already washed from all the hearts we drew on them. But you know me, I get by, with or the without that house, no matter what. Call it resilience, stubbornness, or just the time needed for fermentation. Oh to be…
I know. I know you have been busy too, loving strangers who either couldn’t love you, because their mother’s didn’t love them enough. Or sending them out of your bedroom, because music was missing in their lovemaking and they didn’t know how to peel and arrange the oranges the way you liked, always in eights. I know you like small bites on small plates. Anyway, I overheard that you’ve been busy building a ladder to climb to the roof of the world, while I was rolling cigarettes for Allen Ginsberg in some sketchy gas station on highway 5, right before the grape vines. I’d like to believe that we both must have gazed out of some dusty airplane window in the altitude of ten thousand feet, and thought about how nice it would have been to not be so lonely, without knowing someone else is out there, searching for our gaze, and thinking the same thing, while they stopped momentarily to dry the sweat from their brow with their blue handkerchief while plowing the land. Or maybe that never happened, and there never was a strong man with a sun tanned skin out of a Tolstoy novel plowing the land and thinking about us, and maybe we just shared that moment of loneliness passing over the monocroped Midwesterner flat lands. Oh the shared loneliness of humanity by a pond in some small urban hideaway park, while wondering if there are any fish in it, without knowing the fish are there, ready to love us. Oh well, here I am, writing to you once again, as Neruda would say – “Without knowing why, how or from where” – Writing to you “because I know no other way”.
Anyway. I miss you, I miss you like the bright and hot day misses laying under the night’s cool and silky sheet, like the sand misses his love making with the ocean, like the sound ready to be enveloped by the silence. I miss you the way I miss my childhood, with blackberry stained clothes, with bare feet, with smell of the rose bushes, and the red colored echoes of my grandma’s sighs each time I rode my tricycle into her geranium garden. To tell you the truth, I never did that on purpose, even though I ran around with maniacal laughter to the point of pissing myself. It’s just that I was terrible at riding that bike, And those beautiful plants are good at pulling me into their beauty with their velvety red petals. Even now, after years I can barely resist the urge of running into the heart of everything beautiful. The sunrise,flower gardens, smell of fresh baked bread, kindness of open arms, or your lips open like the freshly cuts figs.
And I love you. Ah loving you! I love you more than all the promises that you hear people pack neatly in boxes, and hand out, as if promises were cheap candy bought in bulk in the evening Bazar in Constantinople or Tabriz. No, I love you, and I give you my soul more preciouses than their promises of eternity. I give you nothing but my love, as a moralist gives nothing but the universal definition of morality, as a true artist makes no compromises faced with opinion of the masses, as mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers and everything else is the illusion we want to believe. But illusion is an illusion at the end, and my dear one, my love is her and now, not dead and illusionary like a dead start million miles away.
I love you in my poems, in the blue smoke of my cigarette, in my whiskey-induced madness, in small children’s laughter, in evening strolls. I love you in plane trees of my childhood, in fist full of coins for ice cream, I love you in the fear of what might be behind the bushes. I love you without being afraid of losing you. I love you, because loving you is standing at the edge of a cliff on Zagros and opening my chest to possibility of being free. I love you because you drive me to translation of sorrow and show me the gallery of trees made out of carelessness and our light.
So I here I am, writing to you to say, I made it back from the desert again, my return from the heavenly pilgrimage, from the high deserts of Nevada, my return from Burning Man. Writing to tell you that I have seen the sunrise, and have thought about you. Writing to tell you that, I have cried, and have thought about you. Writing to tell you that I have kneel and kissed ground, and have thought about you in endless landscape of darkness, in the heart of fires, in the brim of my own madness.
I made it back with lungs full of dust, liver soaked in whiskey, eyes full of light, fingers reaching to memories, tongue curled to deliciousness of new names. I made it back from the ashes, with my mouth open to giggles, toes dipped into unknown, body covered in bruises, cuts, lovers, & what seems to be the inevitable disorientation that comes from giving yourself to all that you cannot hold. I made it back, as a Zero loosen from the gods’ basket of numbers and universal orders, to start roaming this land, to make my way back to the desert and to you again. I believe in what my good ol’ Whitman said “You express me better than myself”.
With love, flames, and tear.
Peyman / Zero