Archive for December, 2009

Ichthyology Pond: A Nocturne

December 25, 2009

It’s not mystical, the winter solstice.
Think of pink fish, red fish, the sun, a pond,
Part water and part reflection, beneath
Fresh ice, so slowly sinking, not frozen, just cold,
About to touch bottom and death, their thoughts—
Of carnival barker and circus clown
And Superman all rolled up tight—about
To be extinguished, with summer so far
Away, you start to think it is death, not
The kids not splashing in the shallows, and
Not the less than dire necessity
Sophisticated poetry, read so
Professionally, so dainty and so
Doily-like, that it seems like ashes scattered,
Lost in some larger lake’s ichthyology—
But still byzantine enough for fish to fathom,
The depths their special province now that ice
Has capped the pond and crested creation.

Uncle Rhetorical

December 13, 2009

It’s raining. It’s pouring. And the old man
Is out of bed. It’s 4:15 A.M.
—Old, etiolated, left so un-majestic…
(But not snoring, no.)
It is raining, though, rain that Thomas Merton[i]
Once described as a festival, though he
Was up late himself that night, in a dark
Wood, a Coleman lantern to shed some light,
(On what?)
Pretending to have found the God of light—
As if the God-Who-Is-Something -You-Come-
To-Know is anything other than you-
—some ‘thing’, some ‘self’.
What an odd thing it is to feel your body
And self in silent crying, an affair of neurons.
The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind,
If one may say so. And of course it won’t
Keep raining forever, not this downpour—
Which Merton knows quite well.
There are, he points out, always a few people
who are in the woods
at night, in the rain
(because if not the world would have
and I am one of them—
such a
Peaceful rain storm in the mountains! So nice
A man to keep the world in business while
Us city folk are turning one by one
Into a ‘crash’ of rhinoceros. (My, but
The collective noun seems apropos here.)
A crash, then, dense with inebriate illusion,
These boys are not fooling around. Remember
Ionesco’s play[ii]? Circa 1959,
What they called the ‘Theater of the Absurd’?
People turning into rhinos? Some kind
Of metaphor? Of course, these days to be
Absurd Ionesco’d have to write a play
Called ‘Manatee’. Even then, your average
Rhinoceros would storm out of the theater,
(They do that, you know), insulted, amazed…
‘Why, the very idea…’ Read the rest of this entry »