Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Palindrome by Lisel Mueller


"Sweet Summer" by John Waterhouse. He's one of my favorite artists.

Well, I'm back up and running. My Operating System was fried due to a series of power surges (cheap surge protector). Lucky for me, the Geek Squad at Best Buy were able to save my hard drive and now I have a new tower with not one, but TWO hard drives. Ah, the JOY of lots of room! Oh, and yes, I am now backing up everything. I was shaking with fear when I got there, wondering if I'd lost thousands of photos and much of my poetry. People, back up your work! Live and learn, right?

It is SO beyond HOT here already...already up to 100 humid degrees and it's only the first of June, which, by the way, is the first day of Hurricane Season (I capitalize it out of respect, having lived through 3 Hurricanes). I pray it's a mild one, and not like the weather horrors so many people experienced in May.

My husband and I limp, walk and bitch 3 times around our country block five days a week. Due to the heat, we now have to roll right out of bed and into our sneakers to walk before dawn and even before coffee (hence the bitching). By the third time around, we're drenched in sweat. The joys of Summer are upon us and Summer is officially still 20 days away. OY!

I've been perusing "Alive Together" by Lisel Mueller and fell in love with her amazing poem, 'Palindrome'. I hope you enjoy it!! xoxo

Palindrome - A word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backward as forward.

Palindrome
By Lisel Mueller

There is less difficulty—indeed, no logical difficulty at all—in
imagining two portions of the universe, say two galaxies, in which
time goes one way in one galaxy and the opposite way in the
other. . . . Intelligent beings in each galaxy would regard their own
time as “forward” and time in the other galaxy as “backward.”
—Martin Gardner, in 'Scientific American' 

Somewhere now she takes off the dress I am
putting on. It is evening in the antiworld
where she lives. She is forty-five years away
from her death, the hole which spit her out
into pain, impossible at first, later easing,
going, gone. She has unlearned much by now.
Her skin is firming, her memory sharpens,
her hair has grown glossy. She sees without glasses,
she falls in love easily. Her husband has lost his
shuffle, they laugh together. Their money shrinks,
but their ardor increases. Soon her second child
will be young enough to fight its way into her
body and change its life to monkey to frog to
tadpole to cluster of cells to tiny island to
nothing. She is making a list:

Things I will need in the past
lipstick
shampoo
transistor radio
Sergeant Pepper
acne cream
five-year diary with a lock

She is eager, having heard about adolescent love
and the freedom of children. She wants to read
Crime and Punishment and ride on a roller coaster
without getting sick. I think of her as she will
be at fifteen, awkward, too serious. In the
mirror I see she uses her left hand to write,
her other to open a jar. By now our lives should
have crossed. Somewhere sometime we must have
passed one another like going and coming trains,
with both of us looking the other way.

From: "Alive Together: New and Selected Poems"

9 comments:

Wine and Words said...

Damn. That poem was so out of the box. So unexpected. Ah to think backwards, much less live it. Maybe we should think more about unbecoming, rather than all this fight to "become", to arrive, to feel settled. Rollar coasters are a blast!

LOVED this! ((Hug))

Marion said...

Unbecoming, yes, Annie. I like that a LOT. Here's to UNbecoming and staying OUT of that damned box everyone wants to put us in! We are, alas, undefineable. xoxo

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

That's funny, people tell me all the time that my behavior is unbecoming.

Marion said...

Bubba, you ain't never been in anyone's box. I'm just sayin'....

Terresa said...

I love palindromes, and this one is no exception, thank you for it!

PS: Just say "no" to cheap surge protectors!

Kelly said...

I like Lisel Mueller (thanks to you!).

Yes, it's really starting to get hot! We went fishing after supper last night and sweated like pigs! (I know, pigs don't really sweat, LOL)

It's good to have you back! I told my daughter we should drive down and have lunch with you one day. She's always up for a roadtrip!

audrey said...

Marion,
The poem is very interesting - hard to imagine, but I like it.
I've not been on blog much for the past 3 weeks (away and then company) and I've missed much. So sorry about your computer crash, but so happy for you that you didn't lose anything. I have an external hard drive that is supposed to be backing things up, but I don't think it's working. I NEED to do something about that soon. I FEAR losing my thousands of photos, etc.
The flooding and the extreme weather has been terrible. I am glad you are ok. The temps here in VA are very high and very uncomfortable, but I won't complain as long as we stay safe from bad storms and floods.
I can almost smell your herb garden. It is wonderful.
Stay cool, Marion. Be well.
♥ audrey

Marion said...

Terresa, I've learned my lesson. LOL!

Kelly, we can meet in Natchitoches sometime. There are lots of fabulolus new restaurants on Main Street by the river. I'm game! xo

Audrey, check that backup! Thanks for stopping in. You're right about the weather. I'm just horrified about all the damage the tornadoes have done. xo

Serena said...

It's been ungodly hot here in VA, too, but at least the humidity broke today. That helps a lot. Glad your computer is back in business. Your poetic pick of the day is fabulous! Have a great weekend.
xoxo

P.S. - There are STILL some HUGE Blogger issues and they are driving me to distraction. Grrrrr.