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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fast Day 192 February 5 2011 {City of the North}

City of the North

All the places in my dreams
are still down on the back lot:
the dark iron ore cities at night,
the flooding summer cottages,
hills of Donegall and Gdansk;
the reeds that flourish yet
where the city built a park
twenty years ago, or more,
I see them still bow and bend.

I see rows and rows of fam’ly,
and those malignant holidays
when my parents would give to
almost-strangers gifts I held
dearer than any gold ever
beheld by my staring eyes!

That ancient familial house where
the sunroom plantation blinds
were sunlight mandolin, slicing
the spectrum into discrete
stripes, which fell upon my juvie
skin and made it all tattooed
like heart of darkness Kongo
or Maori – and when I was
alone, I would nakedly
hunt the fox-stole of desire!

Nothing ever goes away,
save in my memory for a
rainy day, when the tocsin tolls
and we erupt from our dreary
routines, and rush like volunteer
firemen to a neighbor’s blaze…
some of us never hear the call.

North is the city with roads twain,,
somewhere in America,
somewhere oppression vanishes…
the  dark city finds its morning.

The winter is depressing at times. My golden city is in the  north, not down south. North of Lake Superior, I think, feed by two major roads, sheltered from the worst of winter's fury like a Shangri-La. I dream about it, I see the road maps at night.

juvie    -    juvenile

It is about the persistence of memory, the child's growing awareness of a split between parent and child - they are no longer one symbiote!, sexuality's growth, long sleep of life until we awake and going north to find my el dorado.

Dedicated to the actor, Mark Winkworth   (Adams Chronicles-type)


Ruth said...

Oh, I was hoping you'd footnote what tocsin is.

This is so beautiful that it makes me weepy. I was already kind of weepy after rereading your petroglyphs poem. Thinking about watching "The English Patient" with the sound off, letting just the images speak.

Now this.

The stanza about your parents giving away gifts of gold that you never beheld . . . ohhh, yes, I know that too well.

So well done.

Montag said...

Hmmm. In my mind tocsin is an alarum, and an "alarum" is an alarm or warning bell.
I may be wrong, but it will not be the first time.

Actually, in speaking, I usually say "alarums" in the plural and "alarm" for the singular. Surprisingly, no one takes me to task for it.

Now that you mention it, that stuff about the parental gifts does bring a tear to the eye. I still find it uncomfortable to read it.

Have not watched The English Patient again yet, but I will. Films are so surprising. To be able to sit and watch certain ones over and over - audio on, audio off - is not the way we think of entertainment.

I was watching and listening to Temple Grandin lecture on Images this morning. Fascinating. I realized I throw my arms around just as she does when speaking.