John Olson
 
 

 

                          THE DAY WAS GLOVES

  

Hey! where are you going?  Don't you know the road is red with endeavor and

life is a thunder stitched to the water of proposition.

 

     *

 

I hereby declare myself an expert on the moans of Ecuadorian oboes, turmoil,

Akkadian script, verticality, and hemodialysis.  I appease my hunger with the

meat of thick prepositions and belch mellifluous ink.

 

     *

 

When Wild Bill lay dying, his Navy Colts still tucked in his belt, the two

aces and eights in his hand sang I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.

 

     *

 

O skull, what do you need to meet the hour of the sun, and the midnight of

the moon?  Extremes of salt?  The soft blue honey of catfish?  A clarinet?

 

 

     *

 

With the radio on, the museum docent (death) draws the curtain aside to show

us Giorgione's The Tempest.  The music of reindeer stops him.

 

     *

 

Her legs became the candy of my philosophy.

 

     *

 

A reverie is a stick wrapped in furious silk.

 

     *

 

The game of hide-'n-seek among the sunflowers evoked Meaning and the spider's

busy patterns did not obscure this idea.

 

     *

 

I dreamt that a ghost hung a chandelier from the ceiling of a waterfall

because God loves light, and added rubies because he loves revelation.

 

     *

 

A still-life of garlic and scattered buttons rendered by a cat: are the

geraniums and caribou any less true because I'm making this up?

 

     *

 

It was two o'clock in the morning: the streets were damp and the moon was

full.  The junkyard was sufficiently illumined to reveal stacks of tires and

mangled steel, a Honda sedan whose turbulent whispers were all but silent by

the railroad tracks.  A toad hopped hopped through on its way to the creek.

Its skin was rough and cratered like the moon.  The creek scraped itself

across the rocks, floating the moon in its errant pools.

 

     *

 

If you feel the heft of a catalogue of pins, it is spawning palominos.  If

you feel the shine of the mirror, it is not you you are looking at, but the

ambassador of yourself.

 

     *

 

When one paints a picture, one must carefully select the brush one uses.  A

sable-hair brush is fine for the windows of lost cities, but a stag pausing

to smell the air in a forest, or a Sumerian priest entering the dark halls of

Dumuzi, require the bristle of intuition, the smear of midnight blue.

 

     *

 

In Cincinnati, where I've never been, there are still people who never talk

about my never having been there.  I am not a solipsist, have never been a

solipsist, and yet I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that such a place as

Cincinnati exists.  How could it be otherwise?  If there is such a place as

Asgard, and such a thing as a sandman, there must also be cells in certain

vertebrates that cause them to live and breathe the air of Cincinnati.

 

     *

 

Monica Lewinsky was on Larry King last night.  She was affable and

articulate, although she struggled with great difficulty to answer some very

personal and loaded questions as honestly and comprehensively as she could.

How, for instance, does a Johnson outboard motor work?  That is to say, how

does a such small propeller manage to move a heavy boat so fast through the

water?  Larry, she said, I really can't say.

 

     *

 

The root word for creature is create.  One imagines a dragon trembling with

nascent being, or the dreamy Fergus pondering a blade of Irish steel.

   

Copyright 2002 John Olson.  All Rights Reserved.

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