Saturday, July 23, 2011

My dearest, up in the aerie, having a hard time getting myself to post. I suppose something's troubling me, yet I feel reticent, at least here. I get the feeling that I'm persona non grata to some;
I may be the one with the pseudonym, but you may not be the only one with the proxy. Is that a factor in your 'difficulties?' I don't know what to say. It's tricky, uncertain ground. If my suspicions are correct, I may never see them again - and that would include you, swept up in the sweep. I don't underestimate.

I read a line by Emily Dickinson
in the Sewall biography I'm currently reading –
"My business is to love" [emphasis hers].
And that's all I can say for myself,
I can see the other points of view
I wouldn't be happy about it either

I went through two shoebox sized plastic boxes of photos today
looking for an image of you
there were batches throughout of my wedding day
interspersed with vacation shots years later, in Nova Scotia
and another time in Hawaii
and still after irrelevant still of tropical hibiscus
there was me at Windsor Castle on my honeymoon, freezing
then, rifling through, careful not to skip
too quickly through clumps
there you were! in one single image,
with your youngest, just born,
your wife's handwriting on the back
I don't even know whose kitchen that is, or dining room
there’s an overhead lamp directly above your head, like a hat
lit petals descending or rising above you

and ha! as I search now for a photo of such a lamp
I see next to you, hung framed on the wall,
a Tiffany stained glass poster, the light of your crown
reflected in its glass
and you're at the apex of the shot - as in a Baroque painting
of teeming circular rhythms, 
cast of characters in horizontal array beneath
you with your golden crown

it's a beautiful photo
your sweet girls, all blue skies & pink minotaur,
& who knows with the babe in arms?

and one cousin, holding the babe, all patriarchal beams
and my exhausted looking cousin, your wife

whoever took the snapshot - the subjects love the photographer
girls tilt their heads beguilingly and
lovingly as they pose to that loving shot

and you're beaming at the camera too
with that lampshade over your head - here, not a joke,
but a beautiful crowning, framing touch

I like you better without a moustache I think
And I compare the photo with more recent ones I have
in a Christmas card
and images in my mind
my conclusion
darling - you're a hunk, then & now

The business of America is business
My business is to love

(in that business, I've been going back through lines
I originally set down
and now actually looking at the snapshot
and if one could number the lines above
in the order they got written
you'd be surprised that the numbers are all out of order)

no one has sinned
mighty fortresses are intact
I really can't help it
but I can understand that
as with a vampire
I'm safe - so long as
outside the door


Wisteria, Tiffany transom panel, c. 1910–20, leaded glass, 37.125 x 96.25 in., The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Florida (link here)

P.S. Saturday, 8:25 p.m.
error message
dearest, I had a really good, pretty well polished post going
and then blogger crashed
as I was tweaking minor edits
and my polished prose
and gist went
so the post that's up there now
it's not what I intended
stupid me
I didn't have a backup
oh aaarggh
how could I have a backup when it's so hard for me to write in the first place?

Sunday, 8:25 a.m.
post fixed - all better

No comments:

Post a Comment