Ode to Meaning
By Robert Pinsky
Dire one and desired one,
In an old allegory you would carry
A chained alphabet of tokens:
Ankh Badge Cross.
Engraved figure guarding a hallowed intaglio,
Jasper kinema of legendary Mind,
Naked omphalos pierced
By quills of rhyme or sense, torah-like: unborn
Vein of will, xenophile
Yearning out of Zero.
Untrusting I court you. Wavering
I seek your face, I read
That Crusoe's knife
Reeked of you, that to defile you
The soldier makes the rabbi spit on the torah.
"I'll drown my book" says Shakespeare.
Drowned walker, revenant.
After my mother fell on her head, she became
More than ever your sworn enemy. She spoke
Sometimes like a poet or critic of forty years later.
Or she spoke of the world as Thersites spoke of the heroes,
"I think they have swallowed one another. I
Would laugh at that miracle."
You also in the laughter, warrior angel:
Your helmet the zodiac, rocket-plumed
Your spear the beggar's finger pointing to the mouth
Your heel planted on the serpent Formulation
Your face a vapor, the wreath of cigarette smoke crowning
Bogart as he winces through it.
You not in the words, not even
Between the words, but a torsion,
A cleavage, a stirring.
You stirring even in the arctic ice,
Even at the dark ocean floor, even
In the cellular flesh of a stone.
Gas. Gossamer. My poker friends
Question your presence
In a poem by me, passing the magazine
One to another.
Not the stone and not the words, you
Like a veil over Arthur's headstone,
The passage from Proverbs he chose
While he was too ill to teach
And still well enough to read, I was
Beside the master craftsman
Delighting him day after day, ever
At play in his presence--you
A soothing veil of distraction playing over
Dying Arthur playing in the hospital,
Thumbing the Bible, fuzzy from medication,
Ever courting your presence,
And you the prognosis,
You in the cough.
Gesturer, when is your spur, your cloud?
You in the airport rituals of greeting and parting.
Indicter, who is your claimant?
Bell at the gate. Spiderweb iron bridge.
Cloak, video, aroma, rue, what is your
Elected silence, where was your seed?
What is Imagination
But your lost child born to give birth to you?
Dire one. Desired one.
Or presence ever at play:
Let those scorn you who never
Starved in your dearth. If I
Dare to disparage
Your harp of shadows I taste
Wormwood and motor oil, I pour
Ashes on my head. You are the wound. You
Be the medicine.
I'm so cold that my fingers don't want to type and my throat hurts so much I can't swallow tea to make myself warmer, so I am posting early and going to bed. I am really, really, really sick of being sick. Older son seems somewhat recovered from whatever stomach bug sent him home from school -- he had chicken soup and peanut butter toast for dinner -- but I am pretty sure I have a fever and am feeling generally miserable. And I can't take anything besides Tylenol, which has never worked for me as well as ibuprofen! Yeah, I know, I'm a big whiner. Sorry. *g*
I managed to work while I could see straight earlier, wrote up Chase Masterson interviewing Robert Beltran and Brannon Braga answering questions about what might have been on Threshold (though he refused to say whether Caffrey and Cavennaugh were going to end up in bed together, grr). Spent most of the afternoon making older son tea and trying to get younger son to do his homework when all he wanted to do was check something on AdventureQuest. Hey, does anyone in the DC area know of any places that accept donations of no-longer-working TVs, computers, etc. that they might be able to use for parts to repair other TVs? Our old Sony only needed one little part that we couldn't track down locally, but I am betting someone somewhere who plays with old equipment might.
Gull standing on the ice in the middle of the lake at the complex where I took the gosling photos this summer.
We are supposedly getting some snow overnight and then more tomorrow night, so my kids could be delayed for school both days or cancelled or who knows what. In any event, older son will be staying home tomorrow so he can recuperate and I will be hoping I have enough of a voice to call dryer repair places, since Sears can't get here till the 22nd and I cannot wait that long.
Note: It is HARD to write neatly with a mouse!
What does your handwriting say about YOU?
It's the 26th anniversary of my Bat Mitzvah. How scary is that?