I remember reading this for the fist time while living in Venice Beach just out of Art School and immediately being drawn into its dejected, hopeless tone (angsty young artist) and the vivid, unromanticized imagery. I’ve been reading the poem over the past year actually and seems to capture Me at the moment. There is hope,light and happiness still yet to come. This poem reminds me of that.
The Tragedy of the Leaves
I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead, the potted plants yellow as corn; my woman was gone and the empty bottles like bled corpses surrounded me with their uselessness; the sun was still good, though, and my landlady’s note cracked in fine and undemanding yellowness; what was needed now was a good comedian, ancient style, a jester with jokes upon absurd pain; pain is absurd because it exists, nothing more; I shaved carefully with an old razor the man who had once been young and said to have genius; but that’s the tragedy of the leaves, the dead ferns, the dead plants; and I walked into a dark hall where the landlady stood execrating and final, sending me to hell, waving her fat, sweaty arms and screaming for rent because the world has failed us both.