The Free Design


Last month on my 30th birthday, I was ruminating about how my life turned out, with all the ups and downs and twists and turns that I have to go through just to end up thinking of the 30th birthday happening in my head more than the 30th birthday happening, or not happening, in real life.

I was in that state while browsing pages upon pages of online God-knows-what ’til I chanced upon a collection of poems by one of my favorite writers and poets, Lourd de Veyra.

It is this poem that saved me that day.




i started off the day with a pledge not to write anymore poetry then die
but then i noticed that the mango trees were growing leaves of yellow sunlight,
and the caimito long dead has sprouted small sticky pulpy purple gold bubbles

it was weird because i’d already made plans to kill myself
at three o’ clock the most hideous hour

but then from the stereo a cherry blast of vocal harmonies,
french horns, funky basslines, whirling recorders,
chords shimmering, horns that
stopped me—it was a song
called ‘you could be born again”
by an unknown band from the ‘60s called free design

whose sound travels through time
through cocentric rings of candy orange
happy green, blossoming balloon blue,
melting-cotton-candy pink clouds,
lemonade sky
merry golden innocent summer hue

now the day is in suspended animation
like a shopping logo where a cardboard sun
has overdosed on prozac and its rays
this time do not wound us
and the free design is singing
“butterflies are free,
and so are we”
like they really mean it,
the solemnity of diabetes covering
their words like rainbow sprinkles,

now this room is flooded by bright golden flutterings
and it’s the damn record’s fault
and i am seized by a sudden feeling of silly confectionery joy,
as if the world had finally decided to make sense
by bringing this record into my life
because i’ve always believed
that the gods talks to us
in compact discs,
no longer through burning bushes
nor fiery clouds

“begin to sing again
i’ll show you how”
the free design went on and on
now i am saved,
i am cheerful
of a record about to end
thirty six seconds from now

and the scenery outside had freeze framed
in a cardboard watercolor landscape of pink
so pink i could still kill myself
then wake up from the grave the next day
and write poems about sunshine
and rainbows
and pink raindrops
pink birds
pink flowers
pink dolls
pink skin
pink flesh
pink blood
a world so pink
it makes breathing
like a slow dirge



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