rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

After the Fire

Cool and moonless, the night falls into obscurity. A single cricket chirps to a scattering of stars. The trees all clumps and thrusts of shadow, the street a vague suggestion of paleness, the houses invisible, all that was solid has come to seem a story once told and spun away into impression, as insubstantial as spoken words, a vibration in air, then stillness and silence. Deep night conjoins what was and what is and what might be, memory and imagination made equal to immediate perception. The barking dog and the following quiet inhabit this space, briefly anchor it to the moment, but the moment soon dissolves, and the world again falls away. Everything has become as impermanent as the night itself, and only rising day can reestablish reality. Of course, I prefer the night.

Sunday Verse

Sight and Touch

for Balthus

by Octavio Paz

The light holds them-- weightless, real--
the white hill and the black oaks,
the path that runs on,
the tree that remains;

the rising light seeks its way,
a wavering river that sketches
its doubts and turns them to certainties,
a river of dawn across closed eyes;

the light sculpts the wind in the curtains,
makes each hour a living body,
comes into the room and slips off,
slipperless, along the edge of a knife;

the light creates a woman in a mirror,
naked under the diaphanous leaves,
a glance can enchain her,
she vanishes with a blink;

the light touches the fruit, touches the invisible,
a pitcher for the eyes to drink clarity,
a clipped flower of flame, a sleepless candle
where the butterfly with black wings burns;

the light smoothes the creases in the sheets
and the folds of puberty,
it smolders in the fireplace, its flames shadows
that climb the walls like yearning ivy;

the light does not absolve or condemn,
it is neither just nor unjust,
the light with invisible hands constructs
the buildings of symmetry;

the light goes off through a path of reflections
and comes back to itself:
a hand invents itself, an eye
that sees itself in its own inventions.

Light is time thinking about itself.

I have a vague memory of having posted this piece here before, a long time ago, but I can't find note of it in my archives, and it would be worth repeating in any case. Anything by Paz usually is.

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