Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So sitzen Sie richtig

This is one of my favorite paintings (and poems). Back in the day, before April turned from Poetry Month into tax month, I would linger over my favorite art and read poems waiting for something (or nothing) to happen.

Not to make it sound too idyllic, I was often bored.

There is a picture of me, though, leafing through an Egon Schiele album, some seven years ago. It was taken in a darkish pub on a hot August day, one of the most surprisingly surprising days when my sandals fell apart and I walked barefoot through the main streets of Poznań.

For years I remembered that a couple of pictures were taken on that occasion but had never seen them. Until Gryzmak dug them up in a box last Christmas. Between the summer we first met and our meeting six years later they had been waiting among other photographs and papers. Objects can be patient like I never can.

I envy that kind of poise as I fill out my forms and wait for magnolias to kick into full bloom. Now they are teasing me, on the verge of opening but still keeping to themselves.

What's admitted by the door can be kept
by the mind. Can be trapped
in a list. Can be lifted

by the tail and tenderly placed
where it will no longer be
in the way. It was never easy.
(from Mary Jo Bang, "This Is How You Sit Correctly (After Goya)")

Sometimes it's hard to make connections and the concluding sentence chooses to imitate the spring.

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