Guest poem sent in by Joe Riley
(Poem #1737) Monet Refuses the Operation
Doctor, you say that there are no haloes around the streetlights in Paris and what I see is an aberration caused by old age, an affliction. I tell you it has taken me all my life to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels, to soften and blur and finally banish the edges you regret I don't see, to learn that the line I called the horizon does not exist and sky and water, so long apart, are the same state of being. Fifty-four years before I could see Rouen cathedral is built of parallel shafts of sun, and now you want to restore my youthful errors: fixed notions of top and bottom, the illusion of three-dimensional space, wisteria separate from the bridge it covers. What can I say to convince you the Houses of Parliament dissolve night after night to become the fluid dream of the Thames? I will not return to a universe of objects that don't know each other, as if islands were not the lost children of one great continent. The world is flux, and light becomes what it touches, becomes water, lilies on water, above and below water, becomes lilac and mauve and yellow and white and cerulean lamps, small fists passing sunlight so quickly to one another that it would take long, streaming hair inside my brush to catch it. To paint the speed of light! Our weighted shapes, these verticals, burn to mix with air and changes our bones, skin, clothes to gases. Doctor, if only you could see how heaven pulls earth into its arms and how infinitely the heart expands to claim this world, blue vapor without end.
I came across this amazing poem in an anthology and I am surprised that it isn't known better. Just wanted to share. A web version, with graphics and sound, can be found at: http://www.panhala.net/Archive/Monet_Refuses_the_Operation.html Joe [Martin adds] I agree with Joe - this is an absolutely fascinating poem, and I thank him for introducing me to it. I must admit I had some doubts as to how well Mueller could fulfil the poem's initial promise, but I needn't have worried- the execution never faltered, the images built up atop one another without ever getting repetitive (no easy feat, that), and the poem was permeated with that unique magic that distinguishes Monet's paintings. Wonderful stuff indeed. martin