I wheeled my blue Ford Galaxy that cost me a whopping $500 into the parking lot of THE SUBLIME MOTEL. It was painted coral and sea-foam green and there was no second floor. I had a fairly decent view of the Atlantic between two spindly palm trees. Joni Mitchell had just reminded me by way of the radio that when I was a free man in metaphorical Paris, “I felt unfettered and alive.”
So I sprawled out in the old cloth recliner by the window and looked out upon the briny expanse and fulfilled the destiny of the fine establishment and it only cost me fifty bucks a day plus tax.
I kept thinking of all those times when I was asked “what’s up?” and I had responded, “oh nothing.” I decided to write a poem called OH NOTHING but after an hour of intense work, the page was still empty. I was finished I supposed.
So Socrates and I “decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.”
I opened the sliding glass door and eased onto the white sand and walked to the water’s edge and as it moved to and fro, I explored the magnificent nature of things. Hank Longfellow once told me “know how sublime a thing is to suffer and be strong.” Hmmm.
I swam out past the break and body surfed next to this dude named Rumi for a while and when I was held under a bit long by a semi-rogue wave he said calmly when I recovered, “You are quaffing drink from a hundred fountains: whenever any of these hundred yields less, your pleasure is diminished. But when the sublime fountain gushes from within you, no longer need you steal from the other fountains.”
I said, “Thanks,” and I looked across the way and I saw a sign that flashedOSCAR’S GRILLand I strolled in still dripping wet and had a dozen oysters and a Mai tai and tried to employ the Common Sense that Tom Paine and my mom had imbued and I sorta understood then that “the sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime makes the ridiculous, and one step above the ridiculous makes the sublime again.”
As I took the last step out of the joint I tripped on the wooden stairs that led to the beach and fell onto the sand. I was unhurt because of the soft landing and I laughed uncontrollably as I thought of the place where I was most of the time somewherein between thesublime and the ridiculous, the subliculous.