Friday, January 23, 2009

Cracks in calving ice

Spring ~ Andrew Wyeth


Equator Light

Because we were talking about his work, Wyeth moves
the blinds in my room for no other reason than to say
he’s here. We really shouldn’t mention that his wife and
the husband never knew about those sessions with Helga.
That would be improper. Instead, at the slow dying of the
day, we turn the talk to sunlight at the equator, how many
hours of it there are and marvel at how such bright people
took so long to discover that it varied the further south
or north one went, that darkness was not given to tell such
tales of sharp drops and flat edges, how for millennia no
one bothered to rouse long enough to look or listen for it.


Everything about life speaks circles. It is apparent in the
occluded disk of the sun in an overcast sky; it is there in
the face of a daisy and the breast of an orange; it is there
in the mouth of a woman when she succumbs to her given
nature. So we ignore the movement and make music, work
out the component parts of a song until it bends and sets,
strings out its ploys and surprises until we finish for the night,
bid Andy farewell until next time. I am hungry for Chinese.

I opt for take-out and sweet augury: You will take a chance
in the near future. And win. There is something disquieting
about the placement of the first period, some pause taken
longer than necessary rendering good fortune unlikely. This
is the weight of summer ways in winter’s dead reckon. Dry
hot days and lack of rain have seen to it for a week. Lo-Mein
brings fresh drought to my mouth. Globes of water follow.


We discuss Spring, the old man rousing in a skin of snow,
how the metaphors run ruts through the landscape as the
seasons arrive and depart concurrently, each an awkward
remnant of the other. Is he dead, you ask, and I say no, his
eyes are definitely open. So we plumb the symbolism, take
note of every possible subtlety, listen for cracks in calving
ice. Is this epiphany, a coming into one’s seasoned sense
of acceptance, acclimatizing to realities harsher than even
art can convey? Mud tracks remind us that the work must
continue for bees do not mourn their dead. Break open
your heart like a hive and read its unwritten messages,
scrolled and sequestered into honeyed cells by mouths
that chant paper from the communion of common miracles.
Here will I lie until the cycles speed their resolve and flowers
come to hide what will be left of me when rain is imminent.

Joseph Gallo
January 20, 2009


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