Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day/Poem #5: The Waters of Marah

Excerpts from SOUTH LONDON MIX By David Miller, from his collection "The Waters of Marah," first published in 2003. Prose poems. And why not? I especially love his use of color.

There are rooms,
rooms leading to further rooms,
joined together
like an endless road.
You could lose yourself
in these interiors...

I sit with a woman
in a room at night.
We talk
about poetry. As the night progresses
the room darkens about us,
the air cools. Inside:
there are windows and pianos.
Outside: distances manifest themselves
in roads like black tape
interrupted by the occurrence of ponds.

I am haunted by the absence of meetings. - Meetings made impossible by deaths - such as those of Godfrey Miller and Roy de Maistre. Or the cessation of meetings, either by ruptured friendship, by the intervention of distance, or again by death. There are interiorsI will never sit in, and interiors I will never know again.
Aeolian harp, or chimes of some sort (as we had in the room I first slept in, for a few weeks, in South London), that the wind sounds when a window is open.

Imagine the exterior of a house as being sensitive as someone's skin.

The "outside" penetrates what's "inside", if not physically, then in one's sense of a human environment.

What I am saying is obvious. And essential.


String unwound from her mouth. Or clouds. Floating out.
Drinking. Cups. Blue Smoke.
And earth; and light:


Kitchen door open
to the possibility of rain.
Walking out into the garden,
the house open to this possibility,
I think of concepts, abstract
paintings, soundings of a pond.
I think of death. The luminous
edge of life/death - the oblique -
appears more readily, at times,
at times of rain. The house
takes on other colours.


The task is not even to get a sense of mystery into commonplace things again. I think the job is to reassert the value (and value is not mysterious exactly, nor magical, but intangible), of ordinary things. And in doing so, find the place where tangible and intangible meet, and concrete and abstract do likewise.

Again, about simple things: someone once said that a certain line in a poem of min, 'Briar-Cup', was very beautiful. The line was: Birds flew over the river.


Between black and white, and colour - or rather black and white at the beginning of change, - or would it be the other way, that the colours were at the penultimate stage of disappearing? - It was neither (or both), the image suggesting tints which never quite became evident, mainly a red washed out to a sharp faintness.

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