After Wallace Stevens, “Of Mere Being”
At the end of the mind there is anesthesia.
At the end of the mind there is a discotheque.
Supper with a portrait of your great grandpa, suddenly alive.
An idiot flies by in a balloon and plays a fife.
On the edge of space, under a palm,
stands a gingerbread house, on hen’s legs.
On the edge of space there is the North Pole:
a day half a year long, snow, sleds glide beyond the horizon.
At the end of the mind there is a porn film:
your poor fantasy projected on a screen over and over
(whether you were fond of it or not,
whether you planned to fulfill it or not) –
did you really believe no one knew?
On the edge of space there is a cottage, and a shelling of peas.
Oh my, it’s stuffy, a storm’s coming.
At the end of the mind a fly buzzes, Emily.
At the end of the mind a dog barks.
It barks, it barks, it barks,
baring fangs and gums. It tears at the chain, the chain grinds.
The image and the sound, and later only the sound:
a dog barks, a dog barks – through eternity.
The Death of a Butterfly
In the botanic garden I watched the death of a butterfly:
papilio glaucus, not golden but whitish, faded,
tried to land on a purple aster – and couldn’t,
slipped from petals, leaves, fluttered aimlessly,
sank into the weeds, fell to the ground,
and it seemed it would stay there. Suddenly, amazingly,
still fluttering aimlessly, it flew
through the tunnel among the stems,
then above the flower-patch,
where the wind caught it and carried it over the hedge,
over the wall, beyond the garden, to a neglected part of the park.
A cool day for early August, 73 degrees, sunny,
intense bright blues, intense deep greens,
a beautiful day to die, a beautiful day not to.
a hole in the clouds
noise in the well
half past Wednesday and ten to Friday
April has started but March hasn’t ended
the sun zigzags across the grass –
across last winter’s snow from a hundred years ago
we trample the chiaroscuro
the yard airs a few glissandos
yesterday was Tuesday and today is Tuesday
how will we survive a year of Tuesdays?
midafternoon revolves around the cat
and soon the oblationary brings a spectrohelioscope
we’re clinging to a yoyo
a glissando withers in the yard
I sleep with Gerry in the desert
on last summer’s sand from a hundred years ago
Samantha Kitsch is the pen name of a NY-based poet who was born in Poland and writes in Polish. Samantha has published eight books of poems in Poland, including konfiskata konfetti, as well as numerous poems in major Polish literary magazines.