JULY 1997, BUSINESS AS
MAGRITTE: DOMINION OF LIGHT
The winter is still
and snowed flowerbeds are dreaming
of the butterflies drawn
on the windows of the hothouse
where the red lips of
is calm and sorrowful
and prim is
opens its rose enigma and is wed
I see Ms. Tomson walking from the porch
to take a tidy look at
already cared for, watered and left to blossom
by the gardener with beads of sweat
maturing on his glistening forehead.
Meanwhile the colonel wearing a shining, creaking helmet
is out in the garden,
with his yellow finger.
Remember how we were disappearing
inhaling an insane female aroma of
The end of list. It's January, night.
Grandfather has just finished his translation.
Machine gun series of the old steel Underwood
are still reverberating in the air.
Grandmother smokes her cigarette,
and from my bed
the world is wavy, gray and flowing
on the black-and-white lactating screen.
The snowflakes long for light
and merge with the list of solemn Latin names,
with the vaporizing smell of
sweet influenza of childhood
set in the freezing desert of the Eurasian city.
Mosaic Mediterranean colors: milk and soot.
Rectangular fragments of stone houses
scattered on the cliff,
touched up by the moss of trees.
Spacious clay vase broken,
pieces stopped short
of falling into the sky.
Invisible scooters - buzzing insects
are born by the cliff
and disappear into the cliff,
carrying someoneís souls
to their destinations.
From point zero to zero:
fireflies of life, smoldering
after the volcano erupted.
There is sparse parking here,
but John Steinbeck
did not need a parking spot.
He drank his scotch in oblivion,
good man of letters,
one of 6000 alphabets.
before itís to late,
mourning life at itís conception
as a real poet at dawn,
when the first boat departs
for an unnamed island.
JULY 1997, BUSINESS AS
Reverberating sounds of jets
delivering emissaries everywhere.
Summits growing more representative
outshadowing deep death valleys.
Damp jungle air gently caressing
carefully burnt faces of perpetually investing Floridians.
5 p.m., Sunday, news time,
anchors getting down to the core of the events:
Clintonsí vacation in Spain, march in Northern Ireland,
10 year olds shooting at the British Royal Commandos
with water pistols, ready for the game,
July 5 fireworks in Vermont, delayed news of the Independence.
Everyone turns the TV off, dresses up in anticipation
of dinner with close ones and comes to an evening mass,
parking a car properly on designated lots.
Bottomless dark TV screens live their own independent lives:
Hong-Kong skyscrapers casting shadows
over the century's no man's land,
disguised Khmer Rouge in dusty fatigues
relentlessly advancing along the streets of Phnom Penh
toward the airport, armored personnel carriers
sporting banners with Jean Paul Sartre looking prospective and
as if he is still sitting over glace at a table in a boulevard cafe.
MAGRITTE: DOMINION OF LIGHT
First comes the light, being
the aperture of dark as the evening
stays still. One can guess
the trajectory of the night beings
invisible, almost insensible.
The brushstroke precision makes them blend
with what forever waits behind two lit windows.
Trees at the front are dark arrows
grown from the unimaginable into the painting's
essence, which will last as long as it
allows one not only to see, but to breathe it in.
Even afterwards this will remain
a glass, infinitely transparent. The orderly facade implies
some sturdy-settled household. The trees
are well tended but not trimmed. Beyond the fence
there is a garden, perennially rustling.
One cannot hear a sound, feel a movement, yet
one knows, there must be a sound since the light
and a sound are reflections of the same.
There is no street sign, number or a name.
Only the signs of a human omniabsence:
little silent pond, part of a bay, or else
a strait, that harbors quiet boats beyond the frame.
It feels as if an opaque story of a family
nests behind the house, in the garden
that is the insects' paradise, the world of tireless rodents.
Vestiges of life are stirring in the back rooms.
The walls hold reflections of the perpetuating shadows,
not moving anymore, but paused in their domestic eternity:
holding a teacup, a knife, someone's hand stretched in
an attempt to reach for something,
that it will never reach. The only link
between the objects is the sky, as unassuming
as the sky could be in its generously aimless
evening lightness. Its axis is the streetlampó
a counterpoise and the foundation of an ample-
ness of the void. We try to leave
it in the self-saving and comforting oblivion,
as we turn away from the visage of putrefaction,
from the move into motionlessness.
There canvas echoes passion of suppression. This is a dominion
of light, the world where everyone is gone.
I have a box with seven cards,
my hope and the flame of my nights.
The first has a window into the sunny land,
although the glass is frosted and one can't see the end.
This card is worth all other cards:
it has the sky, stone, ice and three thousand birds.
The second card still smells of smoke;
on the burnt surface it shows a block,
that can't be walked, or driven, or lived in.
It harbors frozen breath of sky, that is now crystalline.
The third card is plain, itís black and white
though through a small window it shows light
above treetopsí cathedral spires.
This card is almost mute, like a smoldering fire.
The fourth one tells the story and makes me smile.
It is a circus train, it is a wild
life of style behind the smooth veneer.
It sparkles with smirks, but leaves one with a fear