Autobiography 2 (hellogoodby)

The Book of Company which
I put down and can’t pick up

 

The Trans-Siberian disappearing,

the Blue Train and the Shadow Train

 

Her body with ridges like my skull

Two children are running through the Lion Cemetery

 

Five travelers are crossing the Lion Bridge

A philosopher in a doorway insists

 

that there are no images

He whispers instead: Possible Worlds

 

The Mind-Body Problem

The Tale of the Color Harpsichord

 

Skeleton of the World’s Oldest Horse

The ring of O dwindles

 

sizzling around the hole until gone

False spring is laughing at the snow

 

and just beyond each window

immense pines weighted with snow

 

A philosopher spreadeagled in the snow

holds out his Third Meditation

 

like a necrotic star. He whispers:

archery is everywhere in decline,

 

photography the first perversion of our time

Reach to the milky bottom of this pond

 

to know the feel of bone,

a knuckle from your grandfather’s thumb,

 

the maternal clavicle, the familiar

arch of a brother’s brow

 

He was your twin, no doubt,

forger of the unicursal maze

 

My dearest Tania, When I get a good position in the courtyard

I study their faces through the haze

 

Dear Tania, Don’t be annoyed,

please, at these digressions

 

They are soldering the generals

back onto their pedestals

 

 

                                                                                                          for A. C.


Michael Palmer, "Autobiography 2 (hellogoodby)" from The Promises of Glass. Copyright © 2000 by Michael Palmer.  Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Source: The Promises of Glass (New Directions, 2000)
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