4 Romances,
from Fireweed Poems

| Romances: (1) and (2) |      



On the podium, a man
professed that a pipe of crude
concrete made the same sound

as a flute made of gold; that, indeed,
"Sirs—a vibrating column of air
is a vibrating column of air."

Listening, she felt such a rage
well up within her that she wanted
to run up and gouge out his eyes.

But then she thought,

  "No— "

She would have her chance
to demonstrate the truth of her sound,

although few among them
would care to listen.


No one had taught her
how to tune the strings.
She simply knew. Without
knowing why, she sensed that,

beneath each sounding string
there lay a band of silent
light as big as the world itself.

She would turn the pegs
until the precise moment a
string touched this source
and was illumined by it.

And this she thought was love, as
big as the world itself, and yet,
so intimate and small she could
hold it in her hands.

And still she knew that, if
she were to hold it too tightly,
as hers and hers alone—

that this sound, no matter
how hard she might try, would lose
all its beauty, and that she would have
to stop and learn to tune again.

| listen in RealAudio (c. 4' 15") |

(Image: Fireweed, late Summer: (Epilobium angustifolium) A circumpolar species, known for
its beauty, and for its being one of the first plants to reappear on burnt ground.)

Fireweed Poems-Songs of Love and Loss: A Cycle of 24 Poems

strophe: an order of movement which articulates itself into stanzas or groupings or clusters
of an irregular number of lines of irregular length; alternatively, in the original Greek meaning,
a complementary back and forth between the two sides of the orchestra.

katastrophe: the conflicting orders of movement of degenerative chaos and disaster; alternatively,
in the original Greek meaning, "the return to a point of rest and axial equilibrium of a lyre string
after it has ceased to vibrate," which is, therefore, once again in a state of neutrality.

Romances: (1) and (2) | | listen in RealAudio (c. 4' 15") |
| Also from the same cycle: Departure Tree | Fireweed Poems: Part I | Fireweed Poems: Part II |
| go to Picture/Poems: Central Display |

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