Stories and poems

"The metaphoric image of 'orphan lines' is a contrivance of the detached onlooker to whom the verbal art of continuous correspondences remains aesthetically alien. Orphan lines in poetry of pervasive parallels are a contradiction in terms, since whatever the status of a line, all its structure and functions are indissolubly interlaced with the near and distant verbal environment, and the task of linguistic analysis is to disclose the levels of this coaction. When seen from the inside of the parallelistic system, the supposed orphanhood, like any other componential status, turns into a network of multifarious compelling affinities.'
Roman JAKOBSON, "Grammatical Parallelism and its Russian Facet", Language, 42/2, 1966, pp. 399-429, p. 428-429

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Spring Day's Gaze

May has been very busy and I am down to posting once a month, a rather lamer version of the blogger that I am. I have been doing some wonderful things and enjoying the full energy of spring which gets me up at 6 whether or not the alarm is set. I love working at a university in a park. I loved coming to work one morning and seeing the new green leaves on the horse chestnut trees which had popped out like magic overnight. Then they were blooming, and I loved the sweet smell of the flowers as I passed under them on my bike. Today it is warm but there is a little breeze, and the smell of the lake has begun to grow stronger. I saw the bright red wink of a brown bird's tail in the park this morning.

Spring and summer role around and I think of my friend Veronika who died too young as her birthday and the anniversary of her death approach. In the Middle Ages, churches celebrated death as the real birth day. We don't think so today, and who knows what kind of world we move to when we die, but I like to remember her around this time, as the sun moves into Cancer and everything feels soft and smells sweet. The sky is pink in the evenings and light when I awake. 

I first met her in the park with the chestnut trees and she softened my arrival in Geneva and became my first friend here. I wish I could have known her longer. Once we waded in a kiddie pool in a dark park, high on champagne or each other or strawberries or the weather or whatever; I like how this season brings these memories back to me. I've written other poems for her, not sure this is the second, but there you have it.

Veronika 2

How nice to find your gaze
in somebody else's eyes
or is it something around
the mouth or is it a shared
intellect? I don't know but
what's missed usually reappears,
a tender boy I once knew
whose body I see in a man
I crossed paths with in the cafeteria.

You were there too, maybe
in her way of stepping
or in her round face or in
the space between her eyes,
but yours were blue.

That came out today and all I had to do was arrange the lines a little. Difficult things are easier in Spring.

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