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Hotel de la Reve.

At the dovecote window, a huge eye glistens--moist as a Blue Point oyster. Through the unraveling sleeve the dreamer's hand traces across white spaces a man of the night sky. Over toy rooftops, the glittering infinity of mirrors & cities, stars appears--Wanda Landowska, Tamara Toumanova. Trapped by his "wanderlust nervousness," "the desperation of trying to give shape to obsession," the man in the cellar picks his way among bric-a-brac, tinsel detritus: glass beads, bent bobbypins, old coins, a shred of pink silk, used jar of cold cream, the electrolite lipstick case of Hedy Lamarr, colored adverts for Goldschmidt's fabulous Mexican midgets & dancing bears, DeMedici's slot machine girl, three Milky Way wrappers & a fading snapshot of the Divine Dietrich hailing a cab outside the Apollo--all the flotsam & jetsam of our lives saved in a cigar box, American Perfecto. Held for a moment in their second-hand glamour & tender displacements they glitter & shine. "Voyager," they say, "after centuries of nostalgia for the sea (& the secrets of Empress Eugenie), nothing is lost to the drift of time or the intimate geography of memory. Let the candle waver before green light of landfall, here you will find budding quince & white wave breaking, smell of wild mint, mown grass, gasoline, even |the warm miracle,' a snowball melting in a small boy's palm. Look! Shipwrecked against the Plaza's purple chateau, the silver caravel of a cloud!" Yes, it is 1942, & there is a war going on. From a Chicago basement, where the chain reaction has begun, word comes: The Italian navigator has landed in the New World.! Flying through the window of the dream, a crow explodes over Utopia Parkway.
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Author:Asekoff, L.S.
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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