Friday, June 30, 2006

Melanie, the wait is over :)

Born in 1899 Borges lost his sight in 1955 and died in 1986. For 31 years this man who loved books, who used libraries, reading, words as potent symbols, was denied that which he greatly if not uniquely loved. As a devoted reader myself just the thought of not having the ability to pursue this passion called reading is frightening and yet I sit in admiration of a person who continued regardless not only to write but to enjoy a rich literary life.

The celibate white cat surveys himself
in the mirror's clear-eyed glass,
not suspecting that the whiteness facing him
and those gold eyes that he's not seen before
in ramblings through the house are his own likeness.
Who is to tell him the cat observing him
is only the mirror's way of dreaming?
I remind myself that these concordant cats-
the one of glass, the one with warm blood coursing-
are both mere simulacra granted time
by a timeless archetype. In the Enneads
Plotinus, himself a shade, has said as much.
Of what Adam predating paradise,
of what inscrutable divinity
are all of us a broken mirror image?
El gato blanco y celibe se mira
en la lucida luna del espejo
Y no puede saber que esa blancura
y esos ojos de oro que no ha visto
nunca en la casa son su propia imagen.
?Quien la dira que el otro que lo observa
es apenas un sueno del espejo?
Me digo que esos gatos armoniosos,
el de cristal y el de caliente sangre,
son simulacros que concede al tiempo
un aquetipo eterno. Asi lo afirma,
sombra tambien, Plotino en las Enneadas.
?De que Adian anterior al paraiso,
de que divinidad indescrifrable
somos los hombres un espejo roto?

Friday, June 02, 2006

poem for a lowly harbinger of spring

From Poetry 180:


Julie Lechevsky

My science teacher said
there are no monographs
on the dandelion.

Unlike the Venus fly-trap
or Calopogon pulchellus,
it is not a plant worthy of scrutiny.

It goes on television
between the poison squirt bottles,
during commercial breakaways from Ricki Lake.

But that's how life
to my home.

where they make you do
what you don't want to do.

Moms with Uzis of reproach,
dads with their silencers.
(My parents watch me closely because I am their jewel.)

So no one knows how strong
a dandelion is inside,
how its parts stick together,
bract, involucre, pappus,
how it clings to its fragile self.

There are 188 florets in a bloom,
which might seem a peculiar number,
but there are 188,000 square feet
in the perfectly proportioned Wal-Mart,
which allows for circulation
without getting lost.

I wish I could grow like a dandelion,
from gold to thin white hair,
and be carried on a breeze
to the next yard.

from Poems & Plays, Number 8, Spring/Summer 2001
University of Arkansas Press

Copyright 2001 by Julie Lechevsky.
All rights reserved.