On Forgetting Having Seen the Cornice of a House
The group of people I find myself with
That night as per the howling fugitives
Dana, Kray, yourself, others — perhaps dan,
In vaguely snow-strewn streets dwelling
The Darkness somewhow uninterested in the commitment
Which is inevitably involved in introspection
We did walk and laugh as per the
adjourned party of this dream, perhaps
hoping, or at least hopeful.
Inevitable, perhaps again, that Kray & Dan
should take the stage, a wall along
the sidewalk bearing the hasty, sublime
imprint of white which has
its origins in this Minnesota winter.
That stage I forget. But, when if moved
to a framed window at the brown
forgotten cornice of a house, A framed action
which jumped through the window tho’ the
picture was indeed still — The actress
my young mother, whom I’ve never known,
Tilted in misery, — Who appeared (after
Kray’s antics as the carefree dog on an
elevator — which that boxed cornice became
through some trick of photography which I once
knew in some philosophic context, but which
given the retrospect of those pews I now forget.
More on the pews later. Kray swallowed
the spittle in his throat and danced,
blinking wildly in the droplets which excaped
his mouth to dance the blowing gusts of
The open window on this cornice accelerating
so rapidly downward.) in that aquamarine
flourescence of the bottom of the ocean seen
in a black and white film which must
be seething with imagination or at least the
unwarranted indication of things
outside the realm of a black and white reality.
It was fine green workshop lighting,
as If Jacques Cousteau had wandered in
to film this depth, the nascent,
Yes, oedipally so, nascent sun filtering
downward with those discouraged probability functions
which Max Planck may or may not have understood,
but which the fish understand without
asking — perhaps that is their key. A fine gold
key it must be they possess, an ancient one
as they swim within the metaphor which
My motionless child-mother evokes as she bends
foetally upon herself, framed like the light,
within the cornice of that house
above the wall upon the street, wreathed with
the heavy winter taste of night.
The funeral, the man who entered talking loudly
as if he himself were the dead, the discussion
of his purpose on the gravel outside the whiteness
Of those pews, with mooning.
The arrival at your house, the… the decoration,
the food. Your athletics. Your “father.”
the ensuing days. The shoes,
The car trip. The black place, the nukes, & John.
The terminal, taxes. writing. sleep.
[The “retroblogging” project: this is a “back-post” added 2014-06-19, but originally written at the date posted. I’ve decided to “fill-in” my blog all the way back. It’s a big project. But there’s no time limit, right?
The above is from an undated journal entry, but the journal itself is from the years 1983~1984 (based on the inclusion of math-class notes that I can confidently date from that period) so I have guessed that the above was written during the fall or winter of that year and estimated a date here based on the reference to snow, which means it has to have been after the first snowfall of late fall, 1983 since before then I had never lived where snow fell. It is a record of a dream, clearly, but also there are many indications (unusual line-breaks, capitalization and punctuation, and clearly intentional mis-spellings) that it was meant to be the germ of some kind of poem such as I preferred to attempt to write in those years.
UPDATE: I have added this poem to my daily poem series as Poem #1806, posted 2021-07-11]