Saturday, April 09, 2016



Today, my dream production is overflowing
Into the daylight and here is a memory
Of overlapping truth, desire, and fiction.
These three elements lap at each other
As a cat’s tongue at milk, or as an almost calm lake
Laps gently at its shores, foamlessly swaying
Its indecisive edge. So what are these
That make up this ghost of an event?

There is the snow, a mantle of certainty
Carpeting the nineteenth of February
Nineteen ninety two, in my handwriting.
This diary entry glows not from the actual
Diary, which I’ve lost, but from a dogged
Crumbling dogmatism. I’m sure it was then.
I think it was then. I hope it was then.
So it was then then. Enough doubt.

Then there is the sled and my brother
And our excitement, which we carried
Up the hill into the park to be unfolded
In footprints on the still falling whiteness.

There must be some truth in this.

The view I have now is from above our heads
As we scurry through the almost empty park,
Puffs of breath swirling about our heads like
Old fashioned locomotives. We become a cliché,
A cheap illustration on a postcard,
An advert on TV at Christmas time,
How could we not? But inside this, the body beam of
Recollection, unfilmlike, allows the quietness of snow
To be as real as any seen thing: the way it soft-pedals
Even birdsong into a mere trickle; and I can know the blur
When a flake catches in my eyelash; and I can feel
The snow compacting to a sudden silk
And seeming to tug itself away from my feet
So I nearly stumble with every stride; and the air
Pushing its chillful will into eyes, ears, lungs,
Demanding of us, it seems, that we burst
Just to survive.

There must be some desire in this.

When we reach the top of that best hill –
A hill that thereafter (and even therebefore)
Always conjured its own half-audible plea
For snow (as though it felt naked, obsolete) –
When we reach it - we are held still for an instant,
As though Time itself has reached out
To hold us steady for a photograph,
Or maybe, parentlike, to give us
A breathsworth’s peace to admire the view.
But in the haste of our heroic childhood
Only our old winsome sled seems to meditate
On its surroundings, snow-glinting beside us.

Then, released from this pause, we hurl
Fresh-fast down the slope as if no one else
Has ever done it before, hurtling like the
Descent of fact into fable,
Of act into delicious memory.

We had arrived first at the hill, made the first descent,
Slid further than any of the others that soon arrived,
Slid faster, and with better technique, natural.
In this brief climate, we had found  our calling:
We were pioneers, inventors of snow travel.

There must be some fiction in this.

But there is nothing as real as this, not even reality.

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