p>Still Water
Prose Poems

Copyright @ 1989 by Arthur Garfunkel
ISBN 0-525-24795-5
Used by persmission of Author - All Rights Reserved


Some like to use a picture frame to hold the composition.
Others are less structured, and deal in intuition. But I am like
Nicolas Roeg: "There are no endings," just this bolt of cloth;
we stitch designs and then we cut them off and we leave raveled
threads dangling…

I hang above the barge bay in the last day's sunset.
Suds in a hairnet of aquamarine in an onyx ravine
between England and France are dancing in the unraveling.
I cut a section through my life at zero longitude along
the weft, and retrospect on loose threads…

They are heartstrings, most of them. Elective affinities.
Things we tend to lovingly from day to day:
the new black sleeveless vest my mother made;
the Captain's face of amusing grace and sly;
these old containers—loaves of the merchant trade;
my new relationship with the night sky;
that piece of ocean—a dash at a hundred degrees;
the cells of the skin of cadets in the folds of the eye;
these words, this book undertook to please
Celestial Cassiopeia,

I kiss the hem of your nightgown
Commanded by you: "Some things you may not forget." It
was the fabric from your loom that put me here on this ship at
the stern these years in the white water wake;
It is for your sake that I try to make a peace with the
cutting shears
and go on spinning the filament for you;
a stevedore adoring in the breeze
on the flying bridge—the surge—the slit—
the fibrous flood—the leap of blood from what
the heart can't help but love…cords dangling
the private pounding passion of regret

Leaving you to weave the rest, I offer these

Atlantic crossingJuly 1984