[Image: “064 – Day 5 Ayeyarwady River – A serene view of Ava Bridge,” by Neville Wootton. Found on Flickr, and used here under a Creative Commons license. (Thank you!) The image’s beauty is proportionate to its scale (click it to enlarge), but at any scale it seems an image of a place remembered, but never actually visited.]
Not from whiskey river:
Theories of Time and Space
You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.
Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:
head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off
another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion — dead end
at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches
in a sky threatening rain. Cross over
the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand
dumped on a mangrove swamp — buried
terrain of the past. Bring only
what you must carry — tome of memory
its random blank pages. On the dock
where you board the boat for Ship Island,
someone will take your picture:
the photograph — who you were —
will be waiting when you return
(Natasha Trethewey [source])
Go, bring back the worthless stick.
“Of memory,” I almostimage added.
But she wouldn’t understand, naturally.
There is the word and the thing
adhering. So far so good.
Metaphor, drawer of drafting tools —
spill it on the study floor, animal says,
that we might at least see
how an expensive ruler tastes.
Yesterday I pissed and barked and ate
because that’s what waking means.
Thus has God solved time
for me — here, here. What you call
memory is a long and sweet,
delicious crack of wood in my teeth
I bring back and bring back and bring back.
(Jeffrey Skinner [source])