That distant star you can see flickering in the night sky has already flared-out & died before you were born. Light is late. Physics can explain this but the explanation isn’t at all satisfactory. Explanations rarely are. We are always rooting for the light but the darkness always wins. Twinkle, twinkle, little star. I’m watching it right now through binoculars. If I put my hand out I can almost touch it, almost feel the warmth & the sharp edges & the pulse quickening. The highway is engulfed in darkness & it starts to rain. Windshield wipers slapping time like a metronome in synch with your heartbeat. You’ve gone too far to turn back now. It’s difficult to see in the blinding glare of oncoming headlights, but is that Janet Leigh hurtling through space towards the Bates Motel?
Dimly Translucent But Still Opaque
The poem has no meaning, it provokes meaning, as in that seeming parabolic contraction of negative space which anticipates myth & melodrama. The drive north was exactly like the drive south only played in reverse. I recited “Sailing to Byzantium” accompanied by Bob Dylan singing “Dignity” in perfect counterpoint to the measured lines of Yeats. Almost lost my surfboard near Gaviota when one of the bungee-cords slipped. The winds shooting up the highway pass there are fierce. I thought of Dale Herd telling me about surfing at The Ranch. George Greenough had a key to the Hollister’s gate, or something, anyway they didn’t have to sneak in by boat from the Gaviota pier.
Metaphors Are Not Required
It was beach traffic all turistas & yahoos desperate for some kind of escape. I took a detour to avoid them. She was there when I got back & it was easy to see why she stood sideways with her sisters in every snapshot pasted into her family’s photo album. The engines in her eyes were designed for another purpose, one that had yet to be exploited. Her neon lip gloss gave every word she said a luminous presence that made me think of the lights along the pier on a foggy night. I had loaned her my crown of thorns & before she gave it back she had it cleaned & sharpened for me. Every word she says dissolves like a thread of smoke, leaving a feather-shaped print on the wall, like the shadow of a wing in flight.