elegy

[Andrei Tarkovsky was a Russian filmmaker who, after making only seven films (mostly under a dissaproving Soviet system), died of cancer in 1986.  His mother was a painter and his father was a notable Russian poet.  Tarkovsky, little known by the American public, is considered to be among the most important artists of the twentieth century.]

a shadow shaking lightning bolts

I forget myself

the animated corpse looks like my reflection

guts smeared across the paper

in neatly printed rows

I think of you

the cover of your book ripped off

stripped away, digested

the body laid bare

resting in my hands

trembling with you

your complaints

your ruminations

your vocation

(a curse upon your house)

your painful open eyes

and the banality of turning pages

there is an image amongst the relics:

living beneath the surface

slender blades undulating

(such lovely serpents)

an abstracted shaman

of true things

(or talisman of desire)

is this image you?

veritas

verisimilitude

a framed soul breathing

fleeting

heart beating singular

and universal

(connotations thick as ashes)

you must have ached

hands and feet cut off

the collective soil waiting

darkness watching every move

you must have burned

in love and anger

(before the stamp of ignorance)

smoke and mist

indistinguishable

filling the screen

with supplications

pagan streams baptizing

the fears of the righteous

witches and soldiers giving utterance

and where were you?

writing with light

(the master praying for salvation)

and I see you clearly now

writing with light

a world of ghosts

(February 1999)

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