Friday, December 02, 2011

Between World and Idea

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

                   (world & idea)
—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

A jar full of red flowers.
It was the way light
Moved across them but
Oh, the time was dead
And oh, the seeing was dead
And oh, there was no way
Left to focus and Oh, what
Was there to say coming
Home? “I could not see
The red flowers and now
This camera too is broken
And I wonder if we can see
Anything, anymore.” All that
Was left took years to pull
Itself together, slightly out
Of focus, slightly overburdened
With the marks paint uses
To describe light, it sits there,
A beautiful thing, arcing
This way and that, between
What was and is, between words
And image, between world and idea.


            the reincarnation of...
—William S. Gainer, Grass Valley

Just saw your picture
in the obits—
Christ, you were beautiful.
I could have loved you,
but we missed
each other:
It all runs together.
Maybe next time?
I’ll keep and eye out,
ask around—now
that I know
your name.


—William S. Gainer

She carried
her cell phone
in a pink
Said it was her
of choice.
Learned it watching
prison movies.
Said it’s better
than a bar
of soap
and the Screws
if they notice
just think it’s


—William S. Gainer

The guy
in the electric wheel chair
stops mid-block,
rolls a joint,
lets the smoke drift into
the fractured shadows
of the evening moon.

At the next intersection
he ignores the light.

The leaves piled
in the gutters,
he smiles
as they part
for him...


—D.R. Wagner

From Albuquerque to Chicago
On the Santa Fe all the way,
I fell asleep in hopes of dreaming
But since then things have not been the same.

She held her hands as if she were holding
A ball of something. When she opened them to show me:
A small village at night. It was raining. Lights were just
Beginning to go on across the town. A few people were
Out walking, some hurrying home from the store. It
Looked to be a long time ago, before the war. The
Faintest strains of music rose up. Then she closed
Her hands once again and it all disappeared as if
We had imagined the entire scene. I looked out
The window. We were passing La Junta, Colorado.
We would never do this again. I thought of my father’s
Body in the baggage car, still and quiet in his casket,
Heading home, the rails rocking me back to sleep.

The platform at Des Moines was all but deserted.
I ran into the station just to do so, get a drink of water,
See the yellow lights, watch the candy butcher packing
Up his books and magazines. We would never see this again.
Soon it would all be gone, memories in my eyes, nothing
To say once again. I climbed back aboard waiting for the scenery
To begin, the steam escaping from under the beautiful
Silver cars. The men in uniform. I wanted to wait there,
To stop everything and have it always be that light, that time,
That year, never arriving back in Buffalo, New York with my
Father still dead and rooms full of sad and weeping people.
It just wasn’t worth it. I would take my long-breathed lines
Of thinking, turn them into endless poems and give them
All away until there no more left inside me to hurt or explain.

I fell asleep in hopes of dreaming.
But since then things have not been the same.


Today's LittleNip: 

—D.R. Wagner

The pages of the book make no sound
As they turn. Nor do the sheets find
Rustling or seem to know we are here
Upon the counterpane watching
The fire in the grate retire into
Soft gray-white ashes, a deep glow
Still hidden in its smoldering.

Here is the quiet part.
Beyond this place is a peace that
Never breaks into language or gesture.

It sounds like this.



Jenner Sunset
—Photo by Cynthia Linville, Sacramento