These have been some unsettled and unsettling times chez J. It shows in the work. More and more, I suspect I know what is going to happen before it does, which is just all kinds of wrong. Some days I worry that the work that comes through is a place-holder for something that isn’t ready yet. That might prove true. We shall see.
Even if the tale is told thoroughly and well and is finally over, something remains. The tellers don’t just vanish. What do they turn into? Nothing stays the same.
Here, that process is underway. It probably has been for a long time, but the outside world has been just noisy enough to be distracting. What will it look like when it is done? The poems point the way.
5 March 2021
Wine of Nowhere
She broke both the seal and the neck of the bottle.
She looked at her hands and the blood as it flowed.
She poured out a glass of red wine and the thought of
the source of it ran like a rivery road
through her mind as she watched for the rush to fall silent.
It’s always a ripple until it’s a wave,
and then it’s too likely to alter the title
that’s trying to read from the literate grave
of the person you chose when you learned you were also.
And then the pages that turned of their own–
the ink that ran constantly staining to swallow
a secret then spill it before it was grown
beyond clear legibility. Water the poison;
drink very slowly, then put the glass down.
Make a red mark on the margin rejoicing
that rubies are known to be part of the Crown,
but then rest when the weariness rises with evening.
Only the window, with one open eye,
knows what it’s like to be broken by seeing.
The watery wine and the undying sigh–
they were here by the door-sill; I found them this morning.
A sigh with some letters to make it read true,
and a small slip of paper–an amateur drawing
of someone who looks like the girl who shows through
when you smile past the threatening tears and I notice–
the bottle is broken; your hand is unharmed.
Longer than long comes the unending flow of
an eerier fountain than that you’ve disarmed–
the letter; the red letter. Read it, my lover,
and weep for the storm that will not break again.
Pour on the grave–the stone carved with a double
entwined wreath of letters–wine nowhere she’s lain.