rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Shadowbox

Brief night is half gone when the moon rises and the house across the street is unveiled, the light sliding down its facade of gray and white boards, thin shadows edging its moldings, its windows still dark but for tiny gibbous reflections. How squat it looks! I imagine some Victorian gothic in its place, rising pale in the new light, gables and turrets pressing into the surrounding foliage, a breeze-blown white curtain rippling in some upper window, a glimpse of dim interior wall revealed by a passing candle that may or may not be carried by a ghost. But the real moon exposes only a mid-twentieth century blandness, a vacancy without grace, thin and flimsy, crushed by the low slopes of its own roof, and yet -- in the commonplace silence of it, I envision dreams in which the mute must scream.


Sunday Verse

Objects & apparitions

by Octavio Paz

For
Joseph Cornell


Hexahedrons of wood and glass,
scarcely bigger than a shoebox,
with room in them for night and all its lights.

Monuments to every moment,
refuse of every moment, used:
cages for infinity.

Marbles, buttons, thimbles, dice,
pins, stamps, and glass beads:
tales of the time.

Memory weaves, unweaves the echoes:
in the four corners of the box
shadowless ladies play at hide-and-seek.

Fire buried in the mirror,
water sleeping in the agate:
solos of Jenny Collone and Jenny Lind.

"One has to commit a painting," said Degas,
"the way one commits a crime." But you constructed
boxes where things hurrry away from their names.

Slot machines of visions,
condensation flask for conversations,
hotel of crickets and constellations.

Minimal, incoherent fragments:
the opposite of History, creator of ruins,
out of your ruins you have made creations.

Theater of the spirits:
objects putting the laws
of identity through hoops.

"Grand Hotel de la Couronne": in a vial,
the three of clubs and, very surprised,
Thumbelina in gardens of reflection.

A comb is a harp strummed by the glance
of a little girl
born dumb.

The reflector of the inner eye
scatters the spectacle:
God all alone above an extinct world.

The apparitions are manifest,
their bodies weigh less than light,
lasting as long as this phrase lasts.

Joseph Cornell: inside your boxes
my words become visible for a moment.


--translated by Eliot Weinberger
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