silver lines the bottom of the fish pond.
where two men gather their equated absences into palpable congruence. exquisite bare shoulder camera eyed.
whatever to say when a truth bars entrance. a stomach muscle eye. solitary entitlements. rules expanse of introspect thought.
affair of deciduous longing. the want to corrupt what remains out of control. to glide easily into familiar narrative.
where you once stood. i seek conclusion. not particularly of the absent love. but the more which equates freedom with left lost.
you absorb his words. lie among hidden articles.
substitute want for desire. enormous spring sunlight. tulips slow blooming.
he wanders alone with his dream of happiness. a fiction to be sure. but enough of one to provide glimmer hope.
a young invisible child. say three. plays among dandelions. a field not far from home. what does life account for after all. a brush stroke here. there. a few words follow. memorable or not.
in a dream you envision a growing misstep. your body swelled. cold damp tears. woman plays guitar. sings into probable future. i would follow were i able. yet words refuse to unfix themselves from each heavy laden page.
right now this only works. if they don’t line up. two lips the child repeats. unoriginal although for the first time. new. to no one in particular.
introducing an unexpected narrative.
so that when i read it’s you who springs from the page.
yet the i remains remote and inaccessible. no matter how hard he tries. buds near their blooming moment. movement even though it snowed yesterday.
you tell me you follow a thread throughout my writing which is definitely my life. wherever we find ourselves. nor even when in japan. and in love with a precious man. his left wrist is in a cast. fingers thus protrude.
you recognize that he will in all likelihood die first. wrapped as you are in coat and pajama bottoms. why might you not be able to look at me that way. a synthesis of denial.
people sound out their displaced need to tell a truth. like left over love.
wipe your lips clean. it burns when the steam rushes onto the floor. light blisters the retinal display. remove all possible enormity.
try as he might he never quite recovers.
i hear my mothers voice as i speak with you. a singular morning with coffee. a heartfelt pain close enough to attach paper clips.
when he would begin with gentle skin touch. i would roll my minds body full of grace.
a lost seagull lands in a bowl and bathes. outside. while a dog watches perplexed.
As I wrote the last time I published some of his poems here, gary lundy and I have known each other for decades, which is almost forever. We met at a philosophy and poetry conference in Canada and have been inseparable since, mostly online. Through those decades, we have continued to converse poetically and philosophically through the personal.
His first book, When Voices Detach Themselves (Is a Rose Press), delves deep into personal space and comes out with cultural revelations. His most recent book, Heartbreak Elopes into a Kind of Forgiving (Is a Rose Press), dives even further, if possible, into the heart of matters, uncovering the space for forgiveness and a desire for continued connection—even from deep within introspection. We feel the power of pausing in order to understand how the outer world shapes us, especially through the ideas of relation/ship and loss.
The three poems that appeared last time played on memory, nostalgia, and longing—the delusions of what we take as granted and the cracks and splatter of a glass of wine shattering on the ground of that false sense of knowing. Here, in the three poems above, we have some of the same mood, but accompanied by a sense of narrative connecting loss to longing. In the last of these poems, the voice of the poem addresses another: “you tell me you follow a thread throughout my writing which is definitely my life.” The other person, a friend in a cafe, perhaps, has been talking about the speaker’s writing—and we also sense this thread in the three poems, a sense of his life. The sense is fragmentary, which fits the poet’s view, as expressed in the second poem: “what does life account for after all. a brush stroke here. there. a few words follow. memorable or not.”
The brush strokes of these three poems provide a sketch, suggestive and powerful in its expression. And these strokes, memorable as they are, give us, as readers, a view of the human condition. It is not “joyful,” but it has room for the “fiction” of “happiness” and, in the end, room for the brush strokes of connection that appear throughout gary’s poetry. It is, in the end, the most human of connections—not romanticized, but, as reflected succinctly in the first line of the first poem above, a connection “…where two men gather their equated absences into palpable congruence.” (The specificity of that poem requires “two men,” but gary’s poetry taken as a whole implicitly says “two people” with full gender inclusiveness.)
gary lundy’s poetry books can be found at Independent book sellers through Indiebound.