"The Red Dawn" Douglas Lazarus . . . Colored pencil
You are somewhere else in the city, lost,
Alive, and there is no description
In which you exist, busy and transcendent.
Nothing can cover this large setting,
No panoramic view from an uptown window,
Containing us both, our real acquaintance.
No one isolate--or narrate--our meeting,
Beyond the occasion of a perfect chance,
Talking in the rapid air on the street--
For when I speak, then you are here.
Already our knowledge is manifold and vast;
Only, laughingly, everything about myself
Is built on prophecy, doomed to suspense,
Desire experience in a circle of memory,
While you, and the rest of the people
(Not an infinity, but a simple multitude,
Hardly a populace, to fill the theater,
Just a personal network which I can gather
On a optimistic weekend, for a picnic
On the bluff overlooking the city, or a
Solstice, mid-afternoon, in the kitchen),
You, and they, are alive, busy, somewhere
Else in the city, real voices in the mind,
Thriving in remoteness. And it easy
To fail, and fail again, fail privately
In the night to establish anything . . .
I conjure the fatal scene, the blind pass--
With sealed lips, he hands you the book
Of night, the book of the false witness.
You sit, in the open room, at the table.
He parks his car in the bare lot,
At the corner below the penciled moon,
And swiftly, hearing the gravel talk,
Follows the walkway into the sun--the sun
That spills forth in his headlong path
Buildings and people . . .
The morning star, across from the sun,
Is lingering still in the absent sky.
He is going nowhere, but wandering around.
How long has he been wandering around?
Longer than it could possibly take to find
Anything in the imagination;
Deep in his coats, ponderous and abstract,
Among the happy idiots, who contradict him!
The world cannot be found, like this,
It must be saved, by fatal demonstration;
And he leaves a trail of judgements behind
Him, grounded, which leap into reality.
You are somewhere among these facts,
Assembled--it is wonderful to doubt the
Presence of things--it happens to someone,
At lunch, in the car, on the elevator,
And when life becomes a palpable dreams,
He barely recalls how he came here at all.
And you look, and you see absolute promise,
A silhouette to watch the morning star.
When he is called to turn and wonder
At the city drifting in the air.
Difficult words, beautiful to recall,
Thoughts which pass in the atmosphere.
The sunlight is totally given away,
Fainting in the sky on a summer day,
Absorbed by the pavement, pink and grey;
And the moonlight is aptly converted to use
In a thousand diverting while spectacles;
The whole city is under a reading lamp,
While dawn, outside, is drenching the fields.
These are visible lives, ideal people,
Who should be expertly portrayed--
Linked to one another only in scenes
By secondary lighting and choice fixtures,
While outside whole, customary crowds
Drift without design along the empty lanes.
"Pipes of Dawn" . . . Sidney Lazarus
--------------- THE END -----------------
REALITY, a poem in 7 parts
posts begin on July 8th, 2007