Yuri Gagarin’s Blues

From “THE WOODEN EYE” Tumblr June 2014

Last year, at about this time we got a SuperMoon. Thanks to Richard Nolle  for that term. It’s when the Moon is at it’s closest to the Earth . I went up on my roof in Brooklyn and shot it with 2x converter on a 200 mm lens and then cropped the image in half to get this frame.

Later that year—the night of the Lunar eclipse—I spent the night with a woman I really liked who never called me again. I remember her standing naked in the window trying to see the blood red orange that the moon had become. She craned her neck peering up through my rusty fire escape. She had the number 42 painted on her buttocks for some reason. I never saw the eclipse.

I should have been on the roof.

I wrote a song about it, her and Yuri Gagarin (last year was the 50th anniversary of his space trip). On his return from space he was asked by Krushchev if he saw God…

..Gagarin answered, “Yes sir, I did.” Khrushchev frowned. “Don’t tell any one,” he said. A few minutes later the head of the Russian Orthodox Church took Gagarin aside. “So tell me, my child,” he asked Gagarin, “did you see God up there?’” Gagarin hesitated and replied “No sir, I did not.” “Don’t tell anyone.”..

Almost certainly not true but funny none the less.

YURI GAGARIN’S BLUES

“A gentle push was all it took – we started rolling
A gentle push was all it took – we stared moving
Silhouetted in a doorway, a glimpse of a passing smile
A reminder of some other lovers breath I held for a while
A dedication in a book – a fly leaf marked
A note at the beginning and another for the end
An unbroken penciled heart, gentle heart, gentle heart
In love with the space between the stars

Yuri Gagarin can count to a million
The stars in his eyes are all broken hearts
His perfumed spacesuit hangs in the Hermitage
he came back to bear witness with more than his mind could
bear

Emily appears – a moon cut in half
Emily appears – skull ring and dragon’s teeth
A bloody smudge of sun like a freshly slapped face
Shadows cast in bronze fall across our last embrace

If you leave now, I know I know I’ll survive
If you leave now,I won’t tell a soul
If you leave now I’ll pray for your safe return
You’ve a long way to go, before you can come back again

Yuri Gagarin can count to a million
The stars in his eyes are all broken hearts
His perfumed spacesuit hangs in the Hermitage
The Motherland knows and the Motherland loves you Yuri

If you leave now, I know I know I’ll survive
If you leave now,I won’t tell a soul
If you leave now I’ll pray for your safe return
You’ve a long way to go, before you can come back again.

Floating in space,
The Earth is blue,
There is no God,
Just me and you.”

My short story ‘The Red House’ had it’s roots here.

 

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