weekend getaway/Martin Munoz
This weekend, Nicole and I sort of went off the grid.
We went to Conesville, NY (ever heard of it? no?) to stay at her parent’s little house on a lot of land. We had barely any cellphone service, no Internet, and all the time in the world. We listened to the Fleet Foxes on repeat for hours. We read books, wrote stories, made fires, talked about life, and love, and loving life, and made delicious, delicious White Russians. We went on a two-hour escapade to make pancakes. (We forgot eggs, so tried to drive down the road and visit a small farm that sold eggs. However, it has snowed the night before and we couldn’t get the car up the icy, hilly driveway. After an hour of unsuccessfully throwing down sand, shoving sticks under the wheels, and shoveling the snow, we called Larry [Conesville handyman] who got the car out in one embarrassing rev of the engine. We then found the farm, got squawked at by very rude and apparently non-fertile chickens , searched for the General Store, found the General Store, and purchased eggs. We finally made the pancakes and proceeded to fall into a post-pancake nap while listening to Iron and Wine. It was amazing.)
We then ventured outside and walked the property trails, smelling the fresh pine and breathing in the fresh air, before digging into an amazing VHS collection and watching The Insider (circa 1992), which just so happens to be a very, very long movie. We talked some more, ate some more, slept some very more, and drank our weight in coffee the next morning before heading back in the big city.
We decided to stop at Martin Munoz’s house on the way out — the Argentinian mans who lives right outside of town. He has a barn, and collects things, and sells the things he collects, so we decided to stop by to say hello and take a look around. We wanted to be back in the city by early afternoon, but by that time… we were still at Martin’s.
All people have a story to tell, and Martin is no exception. He’s from Mendoza, Argentina, and has been living in the States since 1970 — collecting antiques, painting, writing poetry, and working on a novel. He took us to his greenhouse and picked us fresh swiss chard and carrots. He invited us inside and read us poetry. He showed us the solar panels he’s installed so he can have hot water, and the tomatoes and pumpkins he picked and froze to have a freezer stocked with vegetables. He has also managed to collect over 20,000 books with the dream of transporting them back to Mendoza and building a library. He told us he’s on the earth for such a short amount of time, so wants to do the best he can for others while he’s here.
I really want to help Martin build his library, and until I can figure out how to do that, I’m going to share one of his poems he gave me, which I read aloud in his living room for him:
Muses Of The Night
What might the night have in her lank hair of a dark woman
that so many times I went through her beauty
to mend my poet’s dream.
The naughty children of my cooing
went out through the onyx of her grandstands
to disentangle the strophes of some verse
that was baking the soul with a hot bread flavor
Night, beloved night, to love you the way I do,
has furrowed the tints of my memory,
fugitive and untouchable muses
of such a beauty were they,
that I could never remember their faces,
only the consequent tingling of their free will.
Only the charm that they could have existed makes me happy
and I pick up pieces of poetry that as darts pass
by the gloominess of the firmament
leaving the fresh aura
of what it was, but not what it was of.
Jet black mermaid to offer you my gift I search for crowns
of enchanted quietness with the sailors of the hours
and their netting in the splendid abysses of the solitude
that keeps us communicated.
Murky pulp cover my thoughts with a silence that flies
and to the fountain of my presage
put a faucet of colors to converse with you my romance.
Night, embrace the bohemic pendulum of my being,
spice my senses
although it be not more than an echo of aromas
but that which bursts over the grass and the land
as lemon, mint, tomato and lavender do.
Tell me night, the electromagnetic configuration irradiated
by that one who wanted to see with his spirit
your marine coral of mist and never could
and the broken harmonies of that other one
who wanted to sing for you with the help of
neighboring heavenly bodies
neither could he
tell me night why did they disregard you.
But more important yet, tell me of the blind men
who could sing to you without the light of the moon
tell me night when and how appears on them the harp of the rhyme
and from the sunken galleon of their quietness
emerges choruses of orpheous to give you chimeric serenades
in the undulating and calm wresting of the flora
in which they gravitated
lit up by the modulated rhythm of subcutaneous little guppies
At the same time that one thousand black swans
with eyes of two thousand lightning bugs
steal their thoughts to exist in their vagabond full moon.
Beloved night, they made out of their souls
the lamp of your house.
The bitchy moon came out to rejoin the sheep of the clouds
violent hymns disbanded from the stillness
by the twang of their bells
a gallop of return was bringing the last of my dreams
following a childish amazonic muse
on which was mounted a squat pegasus
in every direction and all of a sudden
it ceases to stir up events
as if the night were not any more the inside of a guitar.