I Am The Only One That Is Invisible   4 comments

Lummi & MCLACTom Turner — Image by kenne

The poem “Invisible Man,” by Pablo Neruda gets inside me, stirring my very being, mixing the past, present and images of the future. The poem has short lines making it seem longer than it is. Even so, I’m sharing some of Neruda’s powerful lines, which I have read, reread contemplating thoughts of my brother, Tom and existential invisibility.  

“they fire against the people,
which is to say,
against poetry,
but my brother
the poet
was in love,
or was suffering
because all his emotion
is for the sea,
he loves remote ports
for their names,
and he writes about oceans
he doesn’t know,
when life is as full
as an ear of corn with grain
he passes by, never knowing
how to harvest it,
he rides the waves
without ever touching land,
and, occasionally,
he is profoundly moved
and melancholy,
he is too big
to fit inside his skin,
he gets tangled and untangles himself,
he declares he is maudit,
with great difficulty he carries the cross
of darkness,
he believes that he is different from
anyone else in the world,
he eats bread every day
but he’s never seen a
baker
or gone to a meeting
of a baker’s union,
and so my poor brother
is deliberately dark,
he twists and writhes
and finds himself
interesting,
interesting,
that’s the word,
I am no better
than my brother,
but I smile,
because when I walk through the streets
—the only one who does not exist—
life flows around me
like rivers,
I am the only one
who is invisible,
no mysterious shadows,
no gloom and darkness,
everyone speaks to me,
everyone wants to tell me things,
to talk about their relatives,
their misery and
their joy,
everyone passes by, and everyone
tells me something,
look at all the things they do!”

— from Invisible Man by  Pablo Neruda
(Click here to read the complete poem.)

“Where do you go when you’ve already gone?”

— from Tom Turner’s notes

4 responses to “I Am The Only One That Is Invisible

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  1. Perfect depiction of Pablo and Tom’s words. I think this state of mind is part of the journey from Becoming to Being.

  2. Thanks, Kenne. Powerful notions of invisibility.

    Dan

    dwgranger@comcast.net
    • Tom and I were some what like twins, very much alike, except he never found a why to cope with rejection. In a way he did, it was the bottle, which resulted in his premature death. We are all jus tourist in other people’s reality, some just know how to keep moving on.

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