Sunday, August 16, 2009

Love Is a Big Blue Cadillac

Love Is a Big Blue Cadillac 

that never runs 
out of gas. It drives 
all the way down 
to Mississippi 
to see his wife. 
I watch them kiss. 

When they kiss,
the sun rises 
like a cherry
into the sky 
turning the whole 
universe red.

         These words, written by Treshon, a third-grader at Fitzgerald Elementary, define a love that all of us should aim for. Treshon’s vision for Love (in the uppercase) is the bull’s-eye all of us should shoot our arrows towards. It’s a love that lasts because it “never runs out of gas.” It's a love that goes out of the way, beyond the limits of reason, “it drives all the way down to Mississippi,” for a simple kiss. That kiss, witnessed as it is by the speaker of this poem, has the power to transform the world where this kiss is lipsticked, where this kiss is forever planted onto the page. The love that leads up to this kiss is a love that is more powerful and permanent than ourselves: it is bigger than me, the poem tells us, it is bigger than us all: it's a spiritual love that can move mountains, that can take a crumb of bread and feed those of us who come with an open mouth and open heart to take in this poem's power. Love, according to this poem, love, in the eyes of this young poet, is cosmic, it can summon the sun out of hiding so that the whole universe is burning red with love, love, love.

         I love in the poem’s final line the precision of and the placement of that word, “whole.” Not just “my” world, “my” universe, not just the singular, the solipsistic “Me, Myself, & I” that stands at the center of so much poetry. But the WHOLE universe, says the big heart of this child. Because love, Treshon wants us to know, is what connects us all to skies that our eyes have never before seen. And it seems to me that in times like these, more than ever before, we need this kind of love, we need these words—these acts—of love.

Unlike Treshon's big blue Cadillac, the InsideOut Literary Arts Project runs on a gas that needs refueling. If you think poems like Treshon's are vital to us as a cultural community, I hope you'll consider participating in our latest fundraising opportunity to add fuel and fire to our engine. 

On August 18th, beginning at 10:00 a.m., all gifts donated to the InsideOut Literary Arts Project through the Community Foundation website will be half-matched. A donation of $25, for example, ends up as $37.50 in the InsideOut gas tank.

You can keep the Cadillac running. You can spread the love.

Every little kiss counts.

Go here for more info about InsideOut:
Go here for more info about the Community Foundation Challenge Grant:
Make this page your homepage to remind you about the 18th:

Affectionately yours and rolling towards the interstate,
Peter Markus

No comments:

Post a Comment