Dire Solitudes: Bruno Shulz - Poem by Patti Masterman
The flesh, the raw reality of you
confounds description- from another time
and place, your photo looks straight through me,
though I feel I know more of you than any map
or contours of a continent- great, sunken eyes,
slight body hovering just above the middle-age
of years, inscrutable countenance, corrupted
by your dire solitudes.
So far ahead of your time, yet
I found you here on a tilted plane; out of the
ancient foundry of Genesis’ hot anvils
and the spinning lathe of singularities,
matter from tombs and unknown persons
mixed freely in you, like mysterious vials
of plasma'd genetics;
A febrile fever of incontinent histories,
tottering above the malnourished factory
of human body, that is our perihelion
of stark majesty and repugnance,
presided over by the seedy dreams of a drunk.
How does one love the dead,
how does one come to love,
having never known nearness, breath..
no, you are not corrupt
you are merely missing a body and a head,
hands and feet and fingers;
in short, everything a man needs, but somehow
I breathe out in my beautiful dreams the prayer
that your preternatural brain was spared,
magically cut free the corpse at the last instant-
perhaps rolling away, as though a door-stop
rotating its third-eye, surveying everything-
even after death, you contemplate
like one of the martyrs now, forever
upon the loci of your untimely demise.
You were bigger than life, bigger than death;
as long as I live, I am the victor in shadow
of the foreknowledge of you.
Even though is found no resting place
for you, there are words of yours saved up
inside others beings, where none may displace,
now that time's the only strata of substance left us,
and in time you may become the ebullient book
of all your worlds and seasons,
spreading your minions starlike,
rich with the expectation of eternities..
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