Sunday afternoon . . .

All images are by Russian artist Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin (Кузьма Петров-Водкин, 1878-1939)

 

Life on Mars (Another New Year’s Day)

Words for the wind were filled with trees

I was filled with a feeling I couldn’t name

I knew I would never be seeing her again: the girl with the shy tuck to her head, in the folkloric
embroidered dress

In the aftermath I found myself in the mirror of ambivalent desire

Stripped of all continuous nature

The moon glowed blue through the tears in the clouds

The moon glows blue like Orpheus’ severed head

The tundra swans bark like dogs in the night

Or dogs bark like tundra swans

I have lost again the fluidity of tears

I am once more the child filled with unformulated words

A loony-tune torn apart by the trees

Or I found myself a stranger in my own bed

I couldn’t see or I couldn’t hear

Or the porous casement of my skin rippled by sleep

That old, lunar, crazy-making sea

I couldn’t recognize the sounds inside myself as thoughts

Their sloshing waves, the garbled stuttering tides, syllabic particles
loosed from the tack of grammar

Or I wake to find myself walking upright, a vertical figure in a horizontal field of burnt and broken trees

A walk takes shape, a walk takes the walker’s shape

How to pull this apart, part the air, the wind from the air, the trees from the trees?

Again the moonlight

Again the moon

The moon like Orpheus’ severed head volleyed by the sway of the boughs

I send my voice ahead of me along the trail

My voice carves the shape of a thought in the dense, viscous air

We fall redirecting evolution’s course

We fall toward one another, lift off and fall

We are the televised reunion of twins separated at birth

We locate ourselves in relation to the tundra swans

Is this life on the wet red moors?

Or I wake to find myself, my husband asleep beside me, breathing softly,

his hand resting at the small of my back

What opera is this?

Who turned the tides?

Where is the moon I know?

The unicorn? The virgin’s lap? The cloister? The frozen citadel?

Where is the girl with the slate-gray eyes?

Is this the soft delusion of a dream?

What are these glittering sparks?

Is this life on Mars?

Life unmoored?

Marks etched into the strand, the slate-gray margins of a Mars-Black sea?

Is this a marriage, a chronicle, a walk against the wind, a tender conversation
made private by the white noise of the surf, the whorl of screaming gulls?

Where is the first fine dust of snow, the dusty moths, the wind-slurred words?

Are these the straining ropes that moor the dream to its source?

What is the source?

Where is the first snow of the first day of the first breath of the world?

What day is this? What hour of the day?

Where is the snow?

How does it all turn out?

(….)

I woke to a blizzard

No words can describe it that haven’t described a blizzard before: white quiet cold

I opened the shutters unto a void of white, everything blotted out, a white hole
sucking in the sound of human enterprise

I walked into the white quiet void, I walked toward the subway

There were skiers cutting through the snow, children tumbling very quietly into the banks

Dogs nosing at the drifts, steam pluming from their red, panting mouths

~ Genya Turovskaya

See more at: http://www.pen.org/poetry/life-mars-another-new-years-day#sthash.vZc2Xjdm.dpuf

                   

Music by Asa, “The Way I Feel”

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