Liber Abaci O! Could any great stone, mountainous though it is, resist that wry, gentle, know- ing look that pierces your dark surfaces with humor like prismatic sunlight dript through summer windowpanes in early morning: you want the light, but don't want to wake up. c 2017 Jim Rovira
2017 love is stronger than death faith is stronger than sin truth is stronger than lies hope is stronger than fear life is stronger than denial love is stronger than death and every thing that lives is holy.
Frendeles Elated, lucid rotund peaches heave their twin, soft, downy curves into the still loneliness of cold northern climes, of dark lands with a night that lasts all day. c Jim Rovira 2016 Colorado Springs
Silence Sestina* In what darkened, ragged, screaming fire does the kiss of silence never see? Or ever darkly, kisses raged evening fire that loves while screaming? In what screaming, never fired, dark, hot ragged tropic does your kiss descend to kiss my scream: ragged, nev’r silent, dark burning yearning fire? You rise to fire my kiss in dark screams that never suffer your ragged, silent, blunt rag- ing fire; never kiss my screaming silent darkness? In my forced silence, I can never kiss your ragged fire, your oblique passion, in the shared silence of our screaming dark. c 2016 James Rovira 16 October 2016, Brookhaven, MS IHOP
A note on form and sources: I’ve been reading Neil Gaiman’s Sandman vol. 3 lately — many thanks to @DWhiteDaniel for lending me his copies — and came across Gaiman’s creation of an author being driven mad by ideas in vol. 3 (trust me, the guy deserved it. But better than trusting me, buy a copy for yourself and see why). One of his ideas was a “sestina about silence, using the key words dark, ragged, never, screaming, fire, kiss.”
Since reading that, I wanted to try my hand at such a sestina. This is it. I also invented a consistent syllabic rotation for this one (somewhat arbitrarily 4-2-2-1-3-5), which I follow through stanzas 1-6. The envoi is written in blank verse. I got up ridiculously early this morning, couldn’t get back to sleep, and decided I’d rather do this than grading. Many thanks to IHOP in Brookhaven for its similarly ridiculous attempt at eggs benedict and for keeping the coffee coming.
I think the best tribute to any author is to say that he made you want to write.
The Only Question …and that is when he came to me, the great sucking darkness, the formless one, not a place where anyone or anything is, but the place where everything is not (at least as far as he can help it). And that is when he said to me, “Do it.” He said only that at first: “Do it.” But then he said, “You know you want to.” And I hesitated to answer, because there is no point talking back to him: there is no reasoning with him. He is a void that does not give, a depth with no surface. But I could not help but wonder out loud, “So what?” …and that is when the light appeared. When he appeared, the other vanished as if he had never existed, because he didn’t. The light filled the room, the house, the universe, and it flowed through me as I bathed in it, and I knew that it was love. And the light said, “I want you to do it too.” I could not process that moment in which God and the devil agreed, where they both wanted me to do the same thing. I realized at that time that there was no question about what was to be done. The only question to be asked was, “Why was I doing it?” c 2016 James Rovira 09-10-16 MS | Image Credit