Thursday, July 28, 2011

From the Vaults

A story written back in 2006 when I was living in Grass Valley and being 22 or 23.

The poet went for a walk in the snow. It was Christmas Day and he and his family had just finished eating dinner. They set out for their traditional after dinner walk, some in new sweaters and all in galoshes. The road was covered in snow at least a foot deep and their steps crunched through with that perfect sound of snow compacting on snow. Everyone joked and laughed about personal family things, the dinner conversation, the presents, someone’s old nickname, an uncle. The poet began to lag behind as he often did, musing on things as he passed them: the evergreens that shot up through the steely grey winter sky looking like rips in silk fabric; the way the light played on the snow; the way the snow covered everything so judiciously. He was just considering the equal distribution of snow over the landscape when a line arose and took hold of him, a perfect line, an inspired line, a line not created but delivered from elsewhere one that he felt he could not take full credit for but knew he must record and pass on. He remembered the words of a famous visionary poet: “Get off the bus”. He couldn’t remember the whole phrase just that nugget of wisdom which was enough to send him rifling through his many winter layers and pockets for a pen, a crayon, a lipstick, anything to write with. He played the line over and over in his mind so as not to lose it, muttering it under his breath as he searched. At this point his family was far ahead, a grouping of black lines in a field of white. “Shit!” he growled, finding nothing to write with and no paper either. “How does one get this far without learning to carry a pen!” Realizing that these remarks were only pushing the line further to the margins, he thanked God or whomever for what had seemed at the time like an unexplainable and inordinate thirst during dinner which he had none the less indulged. He did the only think he could think of. Upon seeing the line scrawled in bold relief against the white snow, the edges tinged in yellow that lent them an almost haloed look, he was able to heave a sigh and take in the staggering profundity of the words. “Ah sweet relief.’ he said. ‘Get off the bus indeed.”

1 comment:

To Manel said...

visitei e gostei do que vi no teu blog, parabens. Convidava-te tambem a visitar o meu e a comentar, pois só assim podemos melhorar,