Sunday, January 18, 2015

Whose bark comes free in puzzle pieces

Sycamore, surviving, where there used to be a creek in San Jose.   jhhymasphoto


Under the acacia lit with yellow pollen, beneath the pines where the straw sprays out in a structure of crystals, startled from cool caverns of dirt, the insects labored, falling over crumbs. In those hours, between two and five p.m. it doesn't matter which shady tree you drag your body under, the mind goes walking slowly, with no relief. Ants, building with crumbs. And sowbugs that play dead in your hand, sequestered, curled into hollow grey balls. Potato bugs climb over the exposed roots, their unwieldy heads burned out and blind. Over the ground, the shadows sway, in and out of focus. And afternoon registers, incandescent, along the streets of sycamores, whose bark comes free in puzzle-pieces, leaving a raw geography of the world.

Someone must know how the house fits into the street, the street into a map of the world. But nothing that happens inside this house will be recalled, nothing will escape into history. Outside, the night like a developing photograph, moon and stars, the bamboo shaking its paper knives. And how far out of hearing the upstairs window light. How far. How grave.

Roo Borson

The Whole Night Coming Home
McClelland & Stewart Limited, Canada, 1984, page 80.

It would be hard to overstate how much I love this prose poem. And indeed, the work of Roo Borson just stuns me! Everything thoughful, everything fresh, everything devoutly observed, and every word a perfect choice! 

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