The Wanderings of Aly

The Wanderings of Aly

It’s been too busy today to post about Pasternak. Though I was thinking of writing something solely about the Lara poems. Will do so later, at another time and place.

Instead, I’ll post one of my poems from many years ago. From 1997, or thereabouts. Written in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina. Inspired in part by a girl named Aly. Hence the title.

 

 

The Wanderings of Aly

 

Hills like white Cezannes rose up to her

She rose and stood laughing at the sea
Now that it was calmer
Now that it had lost its madness its delirium
Like the poets she had seen running away
From the shamans

Like the tourists with their Prozac wafers
Inside Byzantine churches

The sky touched her and she dropped her wine
Over the railing
Watched burgundy mix with blues and greens
And grays

It was the night when Sappho had split
The air and the ancient world with her love
For the woman of the Fragments

The sea and the air were still circling
Breaking
Waiting for answers
Two thousand years later

It was the night that Aly had learned
Of his death and immortality
His suicide and acceptance as painter
Of miracles by snobs and peers and lovers
Of magic and myth

The myth was two years old now and she
Was its mystery its goal and vortex

And Aly faced the Greek blackness
And felt the Greek abyss
As if
She had jumped from that tower
In New York as if
She had painted her last unsold work

Do deities cry?
She wondered
Staring at Venus beyond the stars

Do deities realize this sense of
Space and color separating?
This sound of sounds moving quickly
Over there
Farther over there?

Aly breathed in the night and caught
The wine the sweat the baklava

She missed the hyacinths moving in the kitchen
And the hands washing off the clay

 

 

–by Douglas Pinson

 

 

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