Sunday, December 26, 2010


Not an event but an unfolding. Not a death but a life.

The accordions of grief swell and subside. Music, like breath, does not come easily. Mourning is memory turning in on itself. Turning its back on History.

Faces remembered in the turning away.

Fragments of old injuries combine to make an ache. You seek the current beneath the surface, the blue beneath the bruise. The blush of first blood, reconstructed, re-construed.

Repent means "the pain again".

These are the rites by which we translate thoughts to language, the dead to the lost. Poems, like funerals, customary but incomplete, render meanings from absence, end in surrender.

The elegy like a tree growing in a graveyard, uncertain of where to point. Bare lines containing nothing. Buried roots.

The truth about feelings. Feelings about the truth.

[after reading Anne Carson's latest, from which the line in italics is taken]

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