Friday, March 29, 2013

March 29th

Here is a stage:
enter the girl.
Dim the lights;
it would not be kind
this solitary figure
too harshly to illuminate.
She herself is unaware.
Let the backdrop unroll.
Now stretched behind her is
a depth of perception not realized.
She is presented against this
flat invitation, and our imaginations
lend it life not inherent
to its nature, too closely following
the form of our experience
but it will do.
We have no other.
Her story now enhanced by our expectation,
the girl paces back and forth before the backdrop,
animated, speaking, believing
her part.
When she turns to the painted canvass
she reaches out her arms as if she could
reach right through it.
Now the music should play.
Softly, I think. Hardly heard:
some violin strains
some wind and reed.
The sound should wreathe the stage
weaving audience into story
and story into girl-
whom we have momentarily forgotten.
In the absence of our attention,
her story has progressed;
she is not alone on the stage.
This figure is not the hired actor.
Flabbergasted, the director searches through the papers,
his hissing disturbing the silence that's descended
in this unexpected entrance,
but the girl isn't taking his cue.
She isn't looking at him.
We are urged to remain calm.
Our regularly scheduled program should resume shortly.
And touching the pulleys and cords
and equipment of mechanical service
this too present and captivating person lifts them into air.
Breaking apart, our stage falls away,
leaving us hanging in some place
too real to be believed.
Clutch your program close,
but it won’t translate this language for you.
There’s only one word here and it isn’t something you speak,
in this place beyond the backdrop.
But again we have forgotten the girl.
She has become real and is lost in the landscape.
To follow her now, we can no longer be an audience.