Wallace and the Carpenter
1. Not Ideas About the Thing But Ideas Themselves
Of all the bird calls I’m only sure about the dove,
and that’s because they’re roosting on my air conditioner.
And there aren’t just calls, longings and contentments,
but rustles, flaps, scratches, and an accumulation of droppings.
Beyond the rail, tiered bands of differing grays
feather up and out to their furthest skyline:
scallop of tree tops, scratched lattice of pylon,
flat roofs, minarets, and smooth empty hills.
I don’t know what I’m looking at each morning,
but I look anyway. Yes, we agree on much
which is beyond disagreement. Today,
for instance, I saw a certain detail
which you also saw, in staggered grays;
saw, and changed, and spoke to, and made speak
until the drawing proved itself necessary,
took off, even, right from my balcony.
That’s the flap I was waiting for,
the fabricated startle into another layer,
the symbol leaving its history and becoming history
and the rest of the nest left behind.
2. Jar of the Anecdote
I saw a detail, then another.
The picture they assembled was lovely, but not yet
Then, the last bit fell into place,
jarring the beauty with stranger beauty
like a bird falling off the air conditioner.
I left you to draw the conclusion.
Courtney Druz is a graphic designer with a background in architecture. She is the author of three books of poetry: Complex Natural Processes, The Ritual Word, and The Light and the Light, and her writing has also appeared in a variety of journals. She lives in Israel and has a website at www.courtneydruz.com.