Friday, July 22, 2005

Sclerotic


A LITTLE PROBLEM WITH THE EYE puts me in mind of mortality. (Excuse the exaggeration: I’ve been seeing Shakespeare plays.) And then I find, in the to-do pile, this poem, written a few years ago for Carl Rakosi:

SO, Carl, a friend,
another Charles, writes of your impending
birthday — a centennial!
                                        And I’ve dreamed
this morning of Symphony and Book,
thinking there must be something that relates them,
distinguishes them from casual collections,
leverages, as investors use the word,
their Meaning into greater Meaningfulness.

Well, life’s like that.
The life well lived, in interesting times —
no Chinese curse!
                                         Observing, mulling it over,
coming to no conclusions, just collecting.
You do one thing, and then you do another,
The words and lines pile up. Or else they don’t.
With any luck we’ll get it figured out,
or some of it, in time. Or else we won’t.

You say it well:
the larger, perhaps different meaning
these poems have (newly strewn), is to be found,
when it is there,
                                         in the arrangement.
“What will not be found is the coherence
of a composition.”
                                         We aren’t composed.
Like books and symphonies we take our shape
as other eyes and ears encounter us.
Meaning is basic.

I’ve learned from you.
Intention is my biggest enemy,
As you know well!
                                         And with him comes
Remorse,
Intention’s lapdog. Slam the doors on both!
That’s what I think I’ve heard you telling me;
Our Book evolves with us, thinking, feeling,
discarding when it must, or falling silent,
And none of us can tell where it will end.

                                                                                July 7 2003

1 comment:

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