Thursday, January 27, 2011

i make feeble attempts (companion to found and lost)

[Inspired and written as response to
Joanna Suzanne Lee's "found and lost".
Please do visit her poetry site "the tenth muse"
in order to read and enjoy her wonderful work
and as always, introduce yourself and say hello.]

i make feeble attempts
at understanding
just take The James
it's yours
and mine
to sense
at a distance
while it courses
and meanders
through your world
asking why it scours a soul
as though regulating heartbeat
an essential
through artery
the messy tangle of vein
and capillary
its source
overwhelmed by the whole
[in my mind] i idle
at the cobbled-walk at Park
[near Swan Lake]
to imagine
that one solitary stretch you so love
bridge with crosswalk and alleyway
but to my dismay
i simply cannot
buried here in my furrow
i rediscover
how geography also fashions
yet somehow
is washed clean by marsh and tide
at the confluence of river
and parting mouth.


Wine and Words said...

Tyranny of geography again? I am marinating in this segment...trying to imagine the place you love but I simply cannot from where I'm buried. But I really, really want to surface and not just imagine, but see. Not just see but experience. Not just experience but understand. Not just understand but.... never ends. The wanting.

Noxalio said...

yes, grand loop-dee-loop, Annie ... but, regardless, geography, in my eyes, is always, blue meanie, ...

Wine and Words said...

Please meanie. Don't leave me hangin'!

Your blue eyes
like new worlds
in revelation

Noxalio said...

Ok, Annie, you asked for it ... quoting now, here goes:

"Reunited with Old Fred and the submarine, they look upon the landscape: a sorry sight. The beautiful flowers have become thorns, the once happy landscape now a barren wasteland. Everyone is immobilized and made miserable by the evil Blue Meanies, only able to move when permitted (such as when the Meanies feel like bullying them)."

ha ha ... so you see, Blue Meanies are tyrants (albeit comical in YS) but symbolic nonetheless ... you can attache your favorite villainous characteristically to them ... and Blue, no less ...

Wine and Words said...

The mysterious mind of NoxAlio :)

Shadow said...

i like the idea of a river running through the soul, washing it clean.

Noxalio said...

Shadow, one function rivers are adept at, no? beyond merely flowing downstream?

Noxalio said...

Annie, i'm afraid there's much less than meets the eye. isn't this true that complexity actually has a much more simple existence, and that complexity is usually a lot more simple than it appears to be?

Anonymous said...


Reading this again, I am struck by several things.

I do like how you weave back and forth from the physical to the metaphysical, from soul to heartbeat, again with the meandering sense appropriate for a river.

And I think you must be familiar with my region of the James--or rather, you did your research for this piece...

Although I find it rather ironic that of all pieces to which you may have written this as a companion, "found and lost" was inspired and written not by the James, but by the ocean, hundreds of miles from there.

"attempts" kind of brings that piece home again, in many ways.

And they certainly aren't feeble, whatever you claim.

I was struck by the line/s "geography also fashions/ hell..." and how the reverse may also be true: hell fashioning geography. Just think of Dante.

Lots to ponder. Thank you for this.

Noxalio said...


hmm ... where to begin? ...

i've been to Richmond several times, yes, but i don't claim intimate familiarity ... and yes, i did do a smudge of research ...

as to The James - to start with, i just love its name ... that, its a venerable river ... and its prominence in our history etc ... it also seems to be one of your totems (as the Nile is one of mine, the White and its source - home to me - i'm certain your attachment to The James has similarities, that they are rivers is enough to let my imagination conjure/guess-at notions which i might be able to understand ...

as to why "found and lost" ... the blog form is essentially chronological with the most recent at the top ... so i read yours starting at the top and went down as far as, if i recall, "at the river’s side" ... and then reversed ... going back (forward in time) and was taken by the following, in this order:

- at the river’s side
- lying
- July landscape, mid-Virginia
- found and lost
- i, too, am not a bit tamed
- rain over the Pacific (redact #1)
- autumn landscape from a downtown window
- my wish
- Sitting tight-legged in the James Center Starbucks i

well, smack, in the center was "lost and found" and i felt it anchored a certain emotion which threaded through these ones in particular and tugged at each end toward the center ... maybe angst at being away from the familiar opposed by a need to flee it? ... a notion of wanting the thing which might be gritty and possibly laden with bitter-sweetness over the serenity and absolute beauty of the sea side - the shore being metaphorically or actually too picturesque (this might be a personal bias since i live in San Diego and over here we sometimes refer to being here, as having Golden Handcuffs ... meaning, i too, don't belong in Paradise, but i cannot picture myself leaving it except in my mind i do, every day) ...

i almost attached mine to "rain over the Pacific (redact #1)" but thought better of it because "lost and found" had more of a razor's edge ... and it seemed to sit at a fulcrum between the two ends (whatever they may be) ...

the tyranny of geography is another one of my totems and maybe it really did not belong in this but it slipped in in the guise of what can define hell (for me, distance from the ones i love, other places i've lived at, is a constant source of anguish), that's why i said rediscover as opposed to discover ... (yes, hell certain also fashions geography, now that you mention it:)

but, in a nutshell, these were some of the notions ... so, to me The James was metaphor for my own though process in trying to understand the thread within those select pieces and then the thing ran away (as they all do, no?) and took the shape it wanted to ... and ta-da!

boy, i don't mean to sound so overly dramatic (i'm not, in fact) ...

Joanna, i was/am glad to hear from you ...