Saturday, July 30, 2016

Borders (Puppetry for Long Distance People)

Borders (Puppetry for Long Distance People) 2016
Wood, acrylic
58 x 55 x 53 cm 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Air Rights

Darling, one way to think of it is
I required absence and you
life-long a room just left. Except
you bloom not empty half-light
but a stand of trees at the edge
of the meadow where my life
leaks out. Static is the soundtrack
of the cabbie’s dream but oh
how we love our troubadours,
sad acoustic boys and girls,
sunshine in their throats. Some
days it takes all my concentration
not to pick the lettuce that lives
down the street. Then I wake
with tendrils between my fingers
and once again I’m feigning
innocence on the one hand,
aping grief on the other. See,
I would eat the lily from under
the frog, drink the river between
each strider’s wake. It's my way
of feeling productive, of not
too terribly envying the swan
still as a figurine on her cloud mirror
until the trees go back to normal
which is a kind of sleep instead of
clawing magnificent at the sky.

Lisa Olstein

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thank you note to those I don't love

I owe so much
to those I don't love.
The relief as I agree
that someone else needs them more.
The happiness that I'm not
the wolf to their sheep.
The peace I feel with them,
the freedom –
love can neither give
nor take that.
I don't wait for them,
as in window-to-door-and-back.
Almost as patient
as a sundial,
I understand
what love can't,
and forgive
as love never would.
From a rendezvous to a letter
is just a few days or weeks,
not an eternity.

Trips with them always go smoothly,
concerts are heard,
cathedrals visited,
scenery is seen.
And when seven hills and rivers
come between us,
the hills and rivers
can be found on any map.
They deserve the credit
if I live in three dimensions,
in nonlyrical and nonrhetorical space
with a genuine, shifting horizon.
They themselves don't realize
how much they hold in their empty hands.
"I don't owe them a thing,"
would be love's answer
to this open question.

Wisława Szymborska
Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh