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Paintings of hours.

I have this image of you as a waif. I have beside me MY HORSE AND OTHER STORIES by Stacey Levine. I see you and your hours and your horse. I see your paintings of hours and of your horse. Under Levine's book is a book by Lyn Hejinian, WRITING IS AN AID TO MEMORY. I haven't read the book yet, I love the title. But I am not sure whether I buy the title or not; of course, I don't know if Hejinian buys it either. I love the fact of both books deeply, I love the thingness of them, them as objects - and as worlds to anticipate me. Perhaps I/we anticipate them. Who knows? the island in me says. The sketch in me says. Tomas Transtromer's sketch, and bookcase, and made-up but to me oh-so-real-ghosts; Tomas' island, Tomas' blue houses. And the sister life in me says so too, I love these, these worlds-yet-to-come, these worlds where much will be easy and in plain sight, and you can make your way safely from home to school and back again without being bombed or bombed into orphanhood or lack-of-a-tribe-hood, lack of a city- or a moon- or a sun or a river-hood. Lack of a hood-hood. Pasternak's sister life, Tomas' sister life, now Maria Flook's sister and sister life. All sisters want to become real I write (Tomas had written - in one translation - all sketches want to become real) I am a tired drawing, but a drawing nevertheless. I wonder if you are drawing today, painting. I feel like I brought both calamity and joy into your life, our life. Many other states and feelings in-between.

Sarabande Books will publish Michael Burkard's Entire Dilemma in September. Other books of poems include The Fires They Kept (Metro Book Co.) and My Secret Boat (Norton). He teaches in the MFA program at Syracuse University.
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Author:Burkard, Michael
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Sep 1, 1998
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