PDF

Rhapsody On The Edge Of A Knotted Finger


by Samuel Derrick Rosen


Waiting, for the long distance bus, beside the war memorial,
fingers frozen like the rest of me,
this stuttering day everything seems gigantic,
nothing seems so small,
a shoestring question of where one stands
when seabirds cross circumferences
that only seem immovable,
Atlantic lines the utterances of disseminating dreams.
 
The junk-shop seems a shelter, warm yet sinister,
holding a million different rhythms that do not once conflict,
conspiring instead together
towards a lampoonery of time.
Phrenological heads, subterranean cuckoo clocks,
a painting of The Crying Boy,
a white piano, a black guitar,
keepsakes of a fugitive comprehension.
 
Murdered by the one who loved him the most,
an alabaster horseman captured
in a tattered photograph whose negative has been reversed,
his savage paper blue eyes permeating
only in the knowledge that they can.
There is nothing here I could lay claim to.
 
Visitor to my soul like a visitor to a city
without people, streets or buildings,
if I whistle will you come to me like Billy the Kid's horse?
Or will you copycat the statues that pepper this town's perimeter,
a sentinel fit
to ward off imagination only?
 
I came here because you
wrote to me a letter written to resent its words,
and I could not resist,
to resist would have been the pettiest of crimes.
Oh god, there are no more outlaws, we are all done for,
we are all finished.
The intoxicated choir of my conscience
goes caroling

down the comic strip boulevards,
strangled benedictions,
unsweetened solicitations,
heart-felt requests that are secretly demands.
Passing a mock candle-lit vigil, I is apt to be repeated,
almost guilty of reaching out to touch
something that once was tangible,
a deceptively random recollection
of some soldier fallen on some field
etched in a long, long dead moment,
a time that still proclaims its pulse.
 
Are we all actors acting
on authorities of sand and salt? 
Even our forefathers lack the strength
to turn within their graves, from here I see the beach,
it seems devoid of waves,
I hear a voice say
“speak well of me and I will not linger”
a rhapsody on the edge of a knotted finger.

Shorter Version:

War Memorial Limbo

Waiting, for the long distance bus, beside the war memorial,
fingers frozen like the rest of me,
this stuttering day everything seems gigantic,
nothing seems so small,
a shoestring question of where one stands.

The junk-shop a shelter, warm yet sinister,
holding a million different rhythms that do not once conflict,
conspiring instead together
a white piano, a black guitar.
Murdered by the one who loved him the most,
an alabaster horseman captured
in a tattered photograph whose negative has been reversed,
his savage paper blue eyes
permeating only in the knowledge that they can.

Visitor to my soul like a visitor to a city
without people, streets or buildings,
if I whistle will you come to me like Billy the Kid's horse?
Or will you copycat the statues that pepper this town's perimeter?

I came here because you
wrote me a letter written to resent its words,
and I could not resist.
Oh god, there are no more outlaws, we are all done for,
we are all finished.

Passing a mock candle-lit vigil,
I is apt to be repeated,
almost guilty of reaching out to touch
something that once was tangible,
a deceptively random recollection
of some soldier fallen on some field
etched in a long, long dead moment,
one that still proclaims its pulse.

Are we all actors acting
on authorities of sand and salt? 
Even our forefathers lack the strength
to turn within their graves, from here I see the beach,
it seems devoid of waves...


 


Endcap