Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In absentia ...

... Judith has extended her vacation because of odds and ends that continue to demand her attention. So, to make up for her absence, I thought I'd post some of her poems from time to time until she returns. Here is

Elegy Written in a December State of Mind

Four in the morning, unfortunately. December
dissolves in some meterological memory of which
I know little. I want to know. I want to understand
anything; understand how my life goes quite leisurely
on . . . Yours does not. Anyhow, a lack of rain wreaks
dreadful havoc with skin and time, with scales
and such, with myths. It rained the day we sat
on the patio in some upscale bar where we traded
downscale dreams. I wanted the south; you loved
the north. That balanced us, encompassed.
We knew directions. Had no need of maps.

Valéry? "A poem's worth is its content
of pure poetry." Some call us weird; some call
us from terrains we inhabit intimately —
ultimately. Still no rain, no snow. A high-
pressure zone. Goddamn it, Gwen! What happened
to the instrument discovered; pointing beyond
those excoriating years when, after learning
the futility of bottle as prop, we dreamed
deliriously of transportation? Nights we
discussed perfect mates. All you wanted :
A love without dissolution — Complete
surrender. Complete control — A destination
in itself. Now, the mist is a blanket of doom . . .

I root here; turn stone cold; try to recall "extra-
ordinary truths of perfect adaptations." A claw
clutches edges of voice explaining unrelenting
applause of hacksaw violating chest, assorted details,
image indelibly vibrant. This raw senselessness —
anaesthetic consciousness, sheer black hue. This world —
neither various, beautiful, nor new, presses on. I knew
a woman "of apparent and convincing probability
in the production of the improbable," a beautiful shy swimmer
and also, a swan. Beyond this fog?
Mist. Rain. Fragile demon flags.

"Elegy Written in a December State of Mind,"
Ultimate Midnight (Windsor: Black Moss Press, 1992).
© 1992-2008 Judith Fitzgerald. All Rights Reserved.

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