Tuesday, July 4, 2017

To Kiarostami

Were you the one driving us sir,
alone, and one by one asking
earnestly...what...to bury you
right there—there!—by that barren sign?
Did you desire to heal, seeking
to find in our refusals lines
that lead to roots, curing you too?
Of what, tell me, your own despair?
Perhaps you were the passenger
who rode with us, the audience—
to whom cinema's for hiding
from self, who hope to find a friend
who'd stop a bit to throw a rope.
But what's the need for this pretense?
I too had seen me in your lens.
Abbas, confess though, was that you?
If not then what are you here for,
close-up or sound take only?  Hope
celestial winds would carry you
to roots at home—or at a friend's....

*Abbas Kiarostami, the world-renowned Iranian filmmaker, passed away exactly a year ago, on July 4, 2016.  He directed, among others, the Palme d'Or-winning "A Taste of Cherry" (referenced throughout my poem), a movie about a suicidal person driving around and asking others that should he go through with it, if they'd be willing to bury him.  I also make passing references to three of his other films, "Where Is the Friend's Home?", "Close-Up", and "The Wind Will Carry Us."

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