The Seagulls of Sauchiehall Street

by Samuel Derrick Rosen


A woman clings to my oneness.
She holds my silence.
She holds it like the pose of a 1930s starlet.
She holds it the way a drunkard holds his wine,
allowing nothing to constrain
(except that which must)
remembering to bypass each edifice of memory,
every ghetto of transcendence,
to let each force of nature
honk, scream, whisper.
I have seen her in the Merchant City
talking to herself,
wearing a mask or two,
advocate of a mystery
that says there is no mystery,
her eyes absorbing things all other eyes reject,
present only in an absence
that controls these mannequins,
shadow-puppets caught by the alternating sun.
The seagulls of Sauchiehall Street
know they're flying in a day that dreams,
I forgive their trespasses,
they too are oppressed
by the thought of not being so.
Alexander Greek Thomson laughs hysterically,
but nowhere to the point of tears,
just to the point of knowing
he's not present on any table,
he's nowhere to be seen.
Is he observing Mona Lisa pluck her eyebrows?
Is he pressing tulips in a book by Dostoevsky?
Is he drowning in a sea of his own construction?
Spectres in abandoned office spaces
dictate a constant brevity.
Synchronicity moves
in and out of ears and eyes and hands.
A thousand shadows tumble back into their hovels,
waiters take away half-empty glasses,
on white napkins ragged men pen mood poems,
hundreds of miles from here
ancient burial stones shift like hands of clocks,
history passes and passes,
the movement of history present here always,
brushing lightly against the spines
of almost unseen places,
brushing against the drama queens
in their resplendent dresses,
moving to the strings of a cerulean guitar,
moving to slight tremors, to passions underground,
moving to those voices persecuted by their words.
And still is this woman who clings to my oneness.
And still is this woman whose name I do not know,
nor do I care to, her anonymity alone hypnotic.
I fall back into a consciousness I sense is somehow just.