It’s an unwillingness to go along with what can, when you step back from it and take a hard, fresh look at it, be seen as a brutal primaeval agreement (what sort of halfway-sensitive creature could have put, on behalf of all of us, his or her signature to this?) that this is the rhythm the world is going to move to: things will be seen and then will be lost to sight, words will be spoken but at once succumb to silence, beings will be born and die, light will grow and then fade, all these will go, they’re already gone, just now they were here but no more. Why should this be? Listing all these and trying not to flop into bathos, trying to keep a little freshness at the list’s edges, what’s in play here includes, well, everything, e.g. a sentence that some cared-about person spoke years ago that one should have paused longer at, one was just realizing the need for this when, look, it’s only just now that it was being said but nothing’s being done about it, and now, don’t even look, it’s gone forever. Or it could be something visual, a scene glimpsed in its waiting stillness, how perfect, how long had it been waiting, you’d had no preparation for this, and when you went back it was not the same. Or it’s a turn of a head, a glance that was offered and may have been huge with unrecoverable portent. Who can bear this? Everyone. Verweile doch, Du bist so schön. We cope with this as best we can. Cope via diaries and scrapbooks and toys in the attic. Making art.
- Don Coles, discussing the role of Time in some of his poems, in an interview with Evan Jones for The Manchester Review. You can read the whole thing here.
Thanks to the Vehicule Press blog for pointing this