Thursday, 17 March 2005

wintering redux

Poetry is not a knowledge of oneself, and even less the experience of a remote possibility (of that which, before, was not) but rather the simple evocation through words of inaccessible possibilities. Georges Bataille

I write to organise thought, this not to be said slowly.

So I turn others’ words to prose. Commonplace idiocy, but bear with me.

If I close my eyes I can picture him hitting the hedgerow for splints or a rib of wood to kindle the fire, or reading the snow for what ever it was that came out of the trees and circled the house in the night; if I listen I can hear him out in the kitchen, scudding potatoes, calling the cat in; if I breathe I can smell the ghost of a fire, a burning of leaves that would fizz in the mizzle before snow. There is in this house now a stillness of cat fur and boxes, of photographs, paperbacks, waste-paper baskets; a life time of things that I've come here to winter or to burn. There is in this world one snowfall. Everything else is just weather.

Stillness. All I need is a word in order to form an entrance to this activity. Selfishness takes precedent; this room is balanced for my needs. The trembling coffee table, all stains and no reinforcement, lies at a parallel to the settee whose true colours are disguised by the old patchwork throw that I bought nowhere. Pinpricks of information, like stars, rest within reach. There is a sustained symbolism, a message reinforced and polarised, all effects shown. There are watery graves and watery births, watery proofs and watery confusion, watery roads and watery skies.

Last night I fell asleep reading poems, the refination of above, and the book is just here. The slim grey volume holds more than sixty-four pages. It is an impression. The internals, the mechanics of the writing are beautiful, beautiful enough, more than I thought. But the volume is a bought volume, given on a whim and now obsessed over. The obsession arose through progression, the realisation that there is a career in thought carved out here, almost carved upon the table on which the book sits.

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