Garcia Lorca Meets Crane

Had the metropolitan afternoon not bored him,
the lack of sea air and pure sun not made him long for Andalusía,
or Ángel Flores—intellectual of the rich port—not had a remedy,
the poet in New York might never have crossed the East River
to engage in a conversation that, had language not been a barrier,
went like this:

        Señor Crane, el placer es mio. Usted ve que los maricas
 de Granada nunca podrían hacer impunemente de recibir tantos marineros
en un hogar a un tiempo. Pleasure—your poems proceed you. Excuse 
the mess, one never knows what might wash ashore. Angel, why 
didn't you ring to announce your coming?

To which Flores replied, "Since when has any man ever announced
his coming in this apartment, dear heart?"

Angel, you're a scoundrel! Ángel, él es un sinvergüenzo maravilloso.

Mire a estos muchachos, bajo permiso y ¡todavía! incapaz de escapar uno
al otro ¡Borrachos y formando escándalos! What did he say?

To which Flores replied, "He said that you have a charming gathering here."

Yes—the borough's less fashionable gentleman's club. Señor Crane...Angel,
tell him the formality is not necessary.

To which Flores replied, "No tan formal, Federico. Por favor."

...arrrt—disculpame, la pronunciación es difícil—Ángel y yo caminamos
sobre un magnifico puente. Dime, en serio, ¿colga allí?

From which Flores translates, "He wants to know about the bridge."

Isn't it magnificent? Can you believe it just hangs there, no support?
I'm composing a rather lengthy piece about it.

From which Flores translates, "Sí. Está componiendo un pedazo
sobre el puente."

And what have you been working on since your arrival?

From which Flores translates, "¿Qué estás escribiendo?"

Tanto como uno puede, sobre la vida en una residencia.

[exact translation]

Well, hopefully we can inspire you. Would you all like some whiskey?

[exact translation]

Absolutamente. Y una pareja de estos marineros.

From which which Flores translates, "Yes he would. But none for me, thank you."

Good company and some old-fashion hooch should take your mind
off the anonymity of New York.

[exact translation]

(laughter)

Cheers! Salud! (pause) Federico would you like to stay the afternoon?

[exact translation]

¡Claro! Ángel, sobra tiempo?

To which Flores replies, "Tu puedes pero yo...¡no!"

Hart, dear...Federico is going to stay. I have an article to finish.
Te dejo a su vicio particular.

And that is how Ángel Flores left them. One poet with another,
in a Brooklyn flat, filled with cigarette smoke, sailors and their musk,
the taste of whiskey on the tongue and, perhaps, the skin.

More by Dante Micheaux

Enemies

        [for Ishion Hutchinson]

The thing about entertaining them,
about keeping their company,
about fraternizing,
is you must remember
they are bloodless
and have many faces,
though it’s easy enough
to walk in sunlight,
where either you or they
become invisible,
never together seen;
easy to get in bed with them,
to bed them,
to be seduced by them—
listing in their own dominance.
Remember what makes one human,
animal, is not the high road
but the baseness in the heart,
the knowledge that they could,
at any moment, betray you.

The Stripling

1 Samuel 17:56

The field soldiers remember the triumph,
a lithe boy’s naal on the head of giant,
before the king rode through the ranks
to inquire about his parentage or the prince
had him bathed, his hair scented with sweet herbs.

After the crowds dwindled, because neither
one’s cunning nor the adulation of the victorious
are nourishment, and the battle, having made him
hungry, alone and in silence, the boy
slowly ate the brain of the giant.

A stripling, to tell the truth, the boy grew—
mad with the taste—savored the giant brain
and learned its ways, became a giant,
begat giants, who craved and ate all
the people in the land, except their own.
 

Related Poems

Thus, Speak the Chromograph

Saying: One night in a cloud chamber
I discovered a thing: that a thing (I used to have a crown 
of light) a thing could be more 
than True, and more again

than False, a thing 
could carry its name

with a ticket of lights 
called Possible: In a cloud chamber, particles are betrayed
by movement and water vapors

leave trails. Discovered: when matter and its antithesis come
together, a disappearing
flash of light: (our share of night to 
ear) (I mean what I say): In contempt 

of the Law of All 
Excluded Thirds: laws are not
symmetrical in the forward and the back 
(of time). On which side
are they stacked? and the sky also

(is what made Hart Crane 
so crazy in the heart) continued to pile up
clouds without account, a mass of gasses with nothing

scribbled under them; a song in the middle 

of the crystal 
cavatina. We hardly had any bones then. Did 
Hart Crane have bones? If so, which kind? And

how far down? It was written
in the boned hours, the Book of Weeds, a treatise on leaving

the house at dusk, when all buildings have already had time enough
to fit themselves back into shadows. As if there were only:

dusk-to-dusk, between dusk-and-dust
where no animals asserted themselves

as separate from the day, and the night
comes again, as it always                                                              




has done. The fact was that
I could not follow the map––because the Book

of Nature was written
in math’s un-
certain language, author of black
                                                                            
rains, why the naked
eye
unclothed
can see

between math’s limits
why 
a baby’s bones are soft
as pudding when first let out
of the water & take

a long time
to harden, you can flatten 
a newborn

’s skull by placing it
on a board, the death-hole
of the cranium takes

6 months to close

and then grow brittle

 
In describing the last
arc of the last 
circumferance: I miss(ed) that halo.

(How long it took to understand rivers

run toward the sea)