Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Explanation by way of poem, backdated

January is the cruellest month, end of discussion. Sweet nothing in the hand is better than snowbirds on the roof. The flight of a single starling is lighter than a flight of stairs. A migratory birdhouse, brick and mortar, mortar and pestle, moves south in the winter but cannot cross the icy river. A five story building. The same five stories over and over: Boy meets girl. Girl leaves boy. Boy assembles fleet & lays siege to the mighty city of Troy. Or: Girl meets boy. Boy leaves girl, promising swift return. Boy blinds Polyphemus the Cyclops & is cursed to roam the earth. Or: Boy meets girl. It’s his mother. The end. Hubris, Nemesis, those are birds’ names. Follow the flight of wild game, chase the pattern of zero sum to the abandoned quarry where rocks beat scissors every time, where winter triumphs consistently and without fail. There is no win in summer. There is no sum in winter. No fall. No hidden springs. No trapdoors. No levers. A snow blind Cassandra has rigged the Electra. On her orders great herons circle the pyramids in tight formation, awakening old thirst from the dirty sands of Lower Egypt, cursing the seemingly inevitable and necessary succession of events. Destiny rhymes with sorrow just as kartoffel rhymes with nothing. Is that a potato in your throat or are you just happy to see me? All this to say: I dreamt I spotted you in the crowd. We were all of us gathered to witness a historic event, an entire species tilting on the brink of a great achievement. You seemed so eager.