March 27, 2002

mixed reflexes and two poems

I've worked here just over a month now. For some strange reason, I seem to have developed mistaken reflexes, and I'm not quite sure what could cause this to happen. Granted, the place is a cubicle farm with a strong resemblance to a rat maze (especially at my height), but it's not the fact that everything looks alike that's throwing me off, because then I would be making new and different wrong turnings, instead of the same ones every time. For example, when coming from the west, I often try to turn into the cube before mine and have to catch myself. (I don't know what the guys in that cube are thinking of me by now.) I never do that when I'm coming from the other direction. And my instincts think that one person I consult frequently is on the end row, when really he's one aisle in. The "streets" don't look at all alike, and I never make that mistake in the opposite direction.

I would understand this if things had changed, but I've been in the same place since I moved here. I don't know if I had mistaken impressions at first that somehow got burned into my neural paths, or if I'm conflating this area with a previous similar cubicle farm (and the coworker with a similar ditto) or what.

It feels odd, like having phantom pain in an amputated limb, except that in this case the limb never was there. And it doesn't hurt. But, you know, aside from that, just alike. Or not.

Lunar Proem

This morning the moon hung low and full
And I sculled up the moonpath
The only sound the catch of my oars
(And the sound of cars, because
The city has no respect for romance.)

I stayed along the moonpath,
Watching the luminescent ripples from my boat
(Until I had to turn to miss a bridge, because
Real life is no respecter of romance.)

I turned then, and the road of light
Stayed with me
At an angle, transfixing my scull
Like Eros' arrow piercing a heart.

The moonpath is a creature of breezes.
When the water calmed, Diana's reflection
Contracted to a dot, an oval, a short line of ovals.
Changing as I rived the water.

I turned my back on her, and watched
The ripples in my stern wave
Had a fainter, milky glow. Lights on the bridge
Tried to ape the moon, but gave me instead
A tessellated shimmer around my stern.
When I turned back, the moon had sunk lower
Enlarged, and turned the color of amber
Or weak tea or old parchment. She sank and deepened further,
And I watched for the dawn.
That one was mine. This one I stole from Row2K, because the author has said it better than I can, but because I'm an honest thief, I'll note that the writer's name is Carole Luke.

Night River

Each night I dream about that rising river.
Each night, my body curls at the catch,
and my blades drop neatly down, square and silent
into black water. My legs push hard against
the wide river's current. The bow splits a darkness
so deep, it threatens to swallow my shimmering, moonlit hull,
now a gleaming white sliver, skimming, sliding headlong
into this night river unwrapping itself around me.

And each night, as I soar through the water, my oars
suddenly wings, folding, gathering, spreading
wide up into the breaking dawn, the light gently wakes
the sleeping land where, tender and calm,
you sleep unconscious of time, the start of a smile
shaping your morning, the day holding its breath
before it unfurls ferociously, like its sister darkness
has done, yielding my shell back onto to your land.
Posted by dichroic at March 27, 2002 04:59 PM
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