Monday, December 16, 2013
for Irina Kuzminsky
The bare pavement-side trees hung
with sparkling blue Christmas lights like stars.
Finally you come. From the other side of the world, again
a miracle in manifestation: and we talk
chairs adjoining at the table’s stained brown corner
as the tavern noise builds around us. What are we doing ?
Dreaming on, for poetry in a world
that needs it, but can’t quite admit it
grasping at all the straws we can—
as they did, must have, our ancestors
brothers and sisters long dead, alive
in the eternal imagination
handed down in its flame. Bright stars,
and because we were always dreaming, half-sane
guided or propelled by the same trance
that moves us, illuminates us, shifting over
to the other side of the brain, like a page
that has no opposite, only the sun.
Black sun, or bright, gold as what we know
and must utter, witness, from age to age
along the thread of our being, our lives
of arriving and leaving in this so imperfect world
that grinds on like a rudderless submarine
from explosion to explosion, or wave.
And you talk about the spiritual warfare within
and how we can be used to channel
for the light or dark, or the dark
that pretends to be light—the self-appointed
priest who lashes out like a black magician
in the name of Jesus. What’s really going on ?
Interference—by any other name
where we can only keep the faith, unpaid
lovers, or friends, or somewhere in between
living for the love of it—and the love
we can only choose that moves everything
and in the harmony we’re so profoundly needing
to return to, as Dante climbed that stair;
his beloved guiding him, as he cherished her.
And to be dreaming yet awake, and savagely
seeing the world as transparent
as a sheet of blood-stained glass, an X ray
a MRI where there’s nowhere to hide
as our friends begin to falter, struck down
as suddenly as unimagineable lightning
by the Invisible that orders everything
in its chaos of unguessable strangeness.
Just your hand reaching with its rings
towards mine, in a lingering
that will stretch back into the invisible
where you become the words you’ll send me
among the frozen photographs. Married
to ourselves, or each other, or this. Moment
poised to become a memory as we stand
to go out to the street where I waited
as you appeared under the trees—
and now you disappear, as I turn once more
to see your hand raised, smile hovering
because we know each time is the last time
until all that’s left between us
are these blue stars, witnessing
as we go to our separate beds.
Dec. 5th, Tufnell Park, London N19