No Person An Island


No Person An Island

Secrete, he said,
and I, not hearing right or not
understanding, said, maybe–
if it were once more March and
flowers murmured their bright ahs up
to the sea-mirrored sky,
but he said, no, hide it–
in your pocket-

and, if, I went on heedlessly, mosaic dolphins
still rocketed off
the lintels of Minos’s palace,
their blue amphorae for
that glow that echoes
about well walls or the curve
of a cenote.

But no, he said, that’s not–
while Japanese tourists smiled
at their cameras’ gaze, lenses aimed
towards the poppied fields, and not
the Ionic
(an iconic blossom, red,
posed at the ear).

Seriously, he said,
as I followed the remnant cobbles
of an excavated maze, a lover who didn’t
much love me, the muscle-buried column of
his spine, sheets footed from
their moorings, creased waves below
the window frame–

until you, this guy here speaking, said
this guy who never even pretended
to love me,
this guy marooned
in my wax-winged brain,
until you, this guy with no fingers for thread, said,
you, he said,
are impossible–

and though that seemed, just then,
so much better
than being possible, so much fresher
and bluer and bigger than all that knotted silence might secure
(the linted grey of the meaninglessly
coveted, the stowed un-
examined), I did not


Here’s a strange sort of drafty poem, very belatedly written for Abhra Pal’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub to write about a secret (not told).  Minos’ temple is on the northern coast of the Island of Crete, at Knossos, with beautiful mosaics of dolphins.  (That’s a doctored photo above.)   (PS–sorry for my lateness in visiting commenters on latest posts–will have a little more time today.) 

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9 Comments on “No Person An Island”

  1. Mama Zen Says:

    This is magnificent.

  2. brian miller Says:

    ha. i was a little surprised at the impossible…though i like your response to it, made me smile…the italics were a little hard to follow at first — i only say this because you said it is still a draft…though it does make for an interesting line in “if, i went on heedlessly”…

  3. ds Says:

    I. Love. This. Especially the way you’ve strung (ha) so many myths into the poem,and the idea of impossible perhaps being better than possible. No reply is best. Thank you!

  4. claudia Says:

    there is def. such a lot of space to move in being impossible – i think that can be a big compliment at times

  5. Susan Says:

    O those linty pockets and dusty closets where secreted things begin to smell musty–better, I think to be hard to grasp, if not impossible. To be mercurial, to move on without engaging the possessive pronoun.

  6. I loved the playfulness of show-don’t-show. And the dolphins. I love dolphins. I also love sharks. But then again, I’m wonderfully contradictory. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

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