Friday, February 27, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Bacchus” by Efren L. Cruzada

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Bacchus” by Efren L. Cruzada.  Mr. Cruzada’s work has appeared in The West 4th Street Review and Headless. He studied at New York University and currently resides in Queens, New York.

Efren L. Cruzada

I worship your indulgent nature
Bacchus, higher than all the divines
I am drunken, always drunken
Intoxicated on the spirit and the flesh
Anaximenes’ air that holds the soul
To the body, the earth breathing
Its own spirit held to the planet by air
A material firmament, tactile
Sphere spinning in the void
Orbiting an immortal ellipse
Planet revolving with the passions
Intoxicated on the spirit and the flesh
The world is drunken, always drunken
The seas are churning with hangovers
Rippling their raucous pain like man
The sorrowful waves on the crust
Sadness and pleasure and lust revolving
With these vibrating passions
Man breathes in this briny air and foam
Exerts its dominion over the earth
Drunk on grass and salt and blood
Drunk on wine and food and knowledge
Love and logic and beauty, all ecstasies
To their highest, most supreme limit
I am drunken, always drunken
I worship your indulgent nature
Bacchus, higher than all the divines
Intoxicated on the spirit and the flesh

Poet’s Notes:  Sitting down and having a crack at the monumental The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell, I swooned at his glorious passages on the Greeks. All I could think of was their endless intoxication. They were intoxicated on wine, on food, on arts, on intellect, on spirituality. Their excess was what catapulted them to become the most glorious society in the history of western civilization. They were able to live paradoxically and thrive, like the mathematician Pythagoras, who was also a mystic who formed his own religion.

The Greeks thought highly of Dionysus, the god of wine and pleasure, and they perceived him as one of their most important gods. I connected highly with this indulgence in the sensual and the spiritual, for I too always feel drunk both spiritually and sensually. I am intellectually obsessed, spiritually obsessed, sensually obsessed, attempting to awaken my being through every avenue possible. In this way, I view myself as a mystic. Poetry is the medium through which I reach the greatest heights of my soul. Poetry is the euphoria through which I attempt to awaken my inner limitlessness.

I used the Roman iteration of the god, Bacchus, because I felt the word had a rougher feel to it than the word Dionysus. Bacchus sounds darker and edgier to me while Dionysus sounds soft and frivolous. This choice was purely for aesthetic purposes. Anaximenes was a philosopher who believed that the earth breathed like an organism and the element air held the soul to the body.

Editor’s Note:  There is something wild about this one that I really like.  Reminded me a bit of Whitman, only with shorter lines.

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