Monday, June 06, 2005

Volant

Volant

Conversation has twisted again—knots, knots, more knots. Serviettes cradle knives and spoons. Under the toxic music’s rush, animated waiters paddle against dinner currents.

But this is more
how your hand
has become a corn stalk
in October wind—
an exotic dancer
tearing word strips
from hot roaring air—
and this is how
I am engulfed
by so much silence
that I hear only
your whispering fingers—
their commentary,
their machinery
as they move, constructing.

Hunting night fires at the sun, blood smears the windows dark and time is sacrificed. We order red wine, half-forgotten memories, more red wine.

I didn’t know
Eric is now in France,
still struggling with the language—
tense tenses.
You’ve bandaged Mary’s life,
given the accident meaning,
put her self-esteem on crutches,
placed Mary at the door,
even though there will never be
an umbrella wide enough
to protect her from the pain.
Frank will always exist
on a diesel road—
fog between the diesel trees,
under diesel clouds—
playing capitalist checkers
with a wicked grin.

And you,
who have been
the Susan of countless dreams—
chanteuse de concordia discors—
you now reside in Toronto—
a pleasant neighbourhood
with pleasant bars.
There is someone,
you don’t mention a name,
just meals and a park.
You have a new job,
the weather’s been warm.
You’ve decided
to wear green this year.
You’re planning
a trip to Spain,
haven’t decided when
and tomatoes seem
especially tasteless of late.

Your hand, which rises to drop, weaves stories into Degas impressions and gauze. Expectant, I wait for take off, wonder if a single feather will fall.

8 comments:

anders said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
anders said...

The limits of my language are the limits of my world. -- Wittgenstein.

didi said...

Helm,

Why don't you publish your poems more often. Where have you been sending them. What is your pen name? Why don't I see you anywhere?

d.

anders said...

This is a good piece of writing. My original comment got too weird and disgressive so Didi understandably cut it. I read the part from "Eric" through "Frank" as comments about kids, children. It reads like a careful latticework of artifice to encrevice the sun, catch in mesh of etches.

anders said...

I meant -- I cut it. Didi didn't.

Chuck said...

The Susan of countless dreams --

That's the phrase that captures the sadness, wistfulness, most for me --

Chuck

H. W. Alexy said...

Jack, I've known you since the old Blueline days, I'm well aware of your passions, there's no need to delete anything.



Didi, I don't think about publishing, sending poems out. I enjoy the creative process. To be creative is enough for me. I also realize that my poetic style is not what today is considered mainstream. Again, rediscovering writing in late 1999, after a twenty-five year dead period is enough for me. I'm happy.



Chuck, yes, I think many of us have people like Susan, who pass through our lives on a here/not here basis. My son, the musician is one of them. He arrives, you're caught up in his chaos, he departs, you begin to breathe normally again.


Helm.

Clay Matthews said...

Congrats to all on fine poems. My vote goes to "Volant."