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Poetry

Faust, revisited

By Jam Hamidi
March 31, 2004
iranian.com

1. Up, high.

Isn't it breathtaking?
This sparkling morning,
when the night, so cold,
shuts the curtain of his dream,
and the black mirror, once more
is a window to his self-esteem?
When from the corner of his eye,
he gets the faint whiff of hope?
Look, dressed now, and outside,
walking briskly towards his goal,
he is vigorous and in control!

Oh, Mikael, you are first in love
with the mystery of his night,
and in the morning you extol
what you just barely forgot?
Do you see, at the onset of dawn,
circling high, your own delight?
Like a boy of four, without restraint,
your feathers resplendent in flight.

Rafael, Mikael, my angels,
the meaning of this globe
is not lost among your lot.

Lord, said Mephistopheles in thought,
are you in the mood for a wager?
That he too, can, You forbid, fall?
For easy it is to do right
when you haven't tasted much plight.
But under the unjust whip of Time,
all alone, his worth in doubt,
he waits for me like a bride.

You underestimate, as always,
what we planted in a human heart.
Agreed, go forth and let him decide.

2. Lost

Here I am, aimless,
in these narrow streets,
I made it, I don't know how,
through that horrible night!
Oh God! What have I done
that hasn't made me cold?
I have nothing but remorse,
lost in my electronic world,
I couldn't, I tried, no, I didn't.
Powerless, in front of her mind,
or fearful, or much worse.

If only I could, I would
give anything to see her sound!
My life, shriveled and old,
hers, whatever she stole.
When I think of her state,
lost in the chemical brine,
shivering in some hole,
under a heap of jackets
and torn wet cardboard.
And for what?
The wrong turn,
the wrong smile for the wrong man,
and later on, alone.

At the office, in a corner cube
he sits heavily in his spot
behind the incandescent tube,
and peers at the symbols of wealth,
dictating, for most, a certain death,
but perhaps not at his hand.
Tracking the inevitable
warming of the once bountiful land,
the increased wickedness,
poisoned water, asthmatic air,
the never-ending war,
adding to his massive despair.
"Oh! What good is this brain
with the constant tug of pain?
We sit and watch and eat.
We consume what we can't afford
both in narrow and in wide.
When this malice, ours, is gone,
Only a heap of plastic and hide
will remain clean under the sun.

But then, through the window, a sight
of a teenager in a careless dress
dark hair fluttering in the wind,
dark clouds parted by the rising moon,
unaffected, round, and white,
the undisputed queen of night.

"Heavenly spirit, you must be alive!
For too distinct an object,
too observant of me you seem.
Come close, let me hear your voice.
Show me, once more,
that there's too a plane unseen"

In a state between dream and real,
something strange finally appears.
He is alone, in that vast maze
of connected cubes and alleyways
when an intense light,
a silvery and high contrast affair,
fills his being from toe to hair.

"Funny! I only see a worm,
where there should be a man at norm!
Who thinks himself my equal?
Uninvited, bold enough to call?"

For his life, he could not answer at all
such was the power of the words,
that poked him like sharp swords.
Later, when they had passed,
and he regained his feeble mind,
what he wanted the most,
was that taste of size and might.

"I need a way to capture that,
a helping hand, letting me, finally
to walk the way that is right
not for pleasure or frivolous deeds
but for something of substance,
for a path made of and for light."

He almost saw himself, with a grin,
helping his sister stand upright.
The arrogance of man!

3. Catch

Enters Mephistopheles.

That very night, bound in sheets,
our hero tosses and turns.
No longer lame, in fire he burns.
No, he cannot possibly sleep,
and getting up, hears a rattle
coming from the deep.
Could someone be inside?
At this hour of the night?
Hastily dressed, and trembling soon,
he ventures in the living room,
Where, to his surprise,
he finds someone sitting tight.

"And who might you be?"
But his mind is spinning hard,
noting the expensive clothes,
and the handsome features, so bold.
Not a thief, not from his work,
exuding power from every pore,
He couldn't keep his eyes away
already a premonition of the price to pay.

"You asked for me, did you not?
I am here to help you see",
he produced a bag of pot
and started rolling a big cigar,
"that for us, living high,
the sound of an unhappy sigh,
is cause enough to come for fun,
and figure out what can be done."

"I am Mephistopheles,
Lord of whispered desire",
as his smoke filled up the room,
"here to grant what you crave.
You seem to have forgotten
that pleasure, this key of fire
unlocks your unhappy heart.
It is the gratification
of your beautiful but neglected part
that also needs salvation.
Or, if you prefer, your mind."

" Your nature is plain for me,
I clean up the mess you make,
you or frogs, or whatever lives
in the recesses of this dirty lake.
But I must confess, lately,
no matter what I gather,
your kind seems to outnumber
everything else like a plague."

Faust, didn't know what to make
of this lunatic, this late.
With the torrent of words,
he could almost be thinking
that perhaps, before sleeping,
he had eaten a bad meal.
To humor him, he blurted out
a simple "show me."

Next, he remembers seating
in the back of a crowded bar,
some sort of music, drumming,
that usually would have him scream
didn't register all that loud.
In front, on the sofa, three girls
eying him with, what, interest?
He laughed at this, of course.
A man as he, not even in his youth
he would have had the charm,
or even the physical force.

" Not so, my friend." Came a voice.
Mephisto was grinning.
" If you would be so kind
as to believe, you'll find
that you are as they, young,
handsome, and used to play.
plain to see through her eye."

The rest of the night a blur,
for he had demonic fervor,
locked in a warm embrace
Faust stares at the ceiling,
his mind, for once, not at race.

The shadows are dancing,
to the sound of his heartbeat.
In the room, you could swear,
tilting towards him,
the attention of all in his care.
Intoxicated with power,
For once, his whining stops,
he feels her flesh in his palm,
concave, abandoned
and most of all, calm.

Later, in conversation with Mephisto,
He hears himself asking for more,
More time to think,
More time to explore.

" I am willing to provide.
But I'd like your word,
as a matter of fact,
in a written contract.
Humans are forgetful,
and I have too many to track."

Faust considers this at length.
Not that he had to have youth
(although it was worth
just the vigorous strength)
but more to the point,
he already lived in hell,
and did so for years.
Not once, a loving pair of eyes
greeted him in the morning,
as they did so today.
They were translucent green.
And he had no way
of fending off their sheen.
"Agreed." And that was that.

But the signing did go wrong.
Mephisto stared at the contract,
something was amiss, but what?
He would look at it later on.

A winning hand,
a vein of gold,
a simple yes to a simple quest,
and our vanity knows not our worth.
With the effort, it feels cold,
with judgment, our own,
through the layers of guilt
surrounded by the unfortunate
the rest of the human race.

Horrified, the angels stare:
Running into his sister, Faust,
one late frivolous night,
throws her a wad of coins,
thinking of the next best bar.
His juvenile hunger awash
in games of give and take
From one into another
narcotic warm lake.

.................... Say goodbye to spam!

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