Monday 18 July 2011

romantic palimpsest, revisited


you said:

"one may ask all the questions, but one should not"

i don't even think you knew then
about my love for grammar, the awe-struck trembling
in front of the countless doors hidden in modal verbs,
opened and slammed in my face
every minute.

now, when the summer light has lost its gentleness,
when it cuts through the curve of my thigh as ruthlessly
as an indicative,
i ask:

why did you say i was beautiful?

why did you say my hair smelled like red moss
under cedar trees?

why did you say you wanted us to look at each other
the same way as then, as long as we lived?
(i smiled, amused at this image,
coming from one like you, with your deep disdain for romantic
pose and sentimentalism, we were both, damn it, too old
for rose and myrrh -
but too young to know how to look at a face hiding a face
and another face and yet another face,
an endless labyrinth of deception.
i believed it, though, there was something hard and warm
and true in there
like the heaviness of your touch upon me,
beyond modal verbs,
a kiss like a bird in a mouth
who hadn't yet learned to tell the poem
about kiss and mouth).

why did you say you wanted me to have all the books
you had ever read?




now, inside the walls of this living library
i, the captive, am free to run from modal verb to modal verb
waiting in vain for a flutter of page to hurt my blood,
for light to break your absence
like bread upon my skin, yet again.





  1. My God. Such magic. Such a gentle, yet powerful, supernatural force. I remain - in awe.

  2. that last but one is such an unbelievably superb picture: the blank open book, flung open, waiting for the ink to write its name.

  3. .....a slow irresistible glacier down the valley of the soul....

  4. OMG! These are works of art!Beautiful, beautiful...

  5. Her words devilishly rival the cloud-drift of her dark, tousled hair.

  6. hi my beautiful friend Roxana, thankyou again for a brilliant post and the opportunity to relate so strongly to your powerful words and images,

    yes I have always enjoyed word play and writing-a pretty good chunk of my life has been dedicated to this.I feel that it is play that runs through my veins but at times I find that it is incapable of reaching an aching heart that its logic collapses and leaves me to search for an alternate state of consciousness,

    and you too have expressed this doubt of the efficacy of this verbal world-with powerful words such as -countless doors opened and SLAMMED in my face

    and-when the curve of light cuts through your thigh as an indicative-
    and the way you could sense beyond the disillusionment of language-
    there was something hard and true beyond the modal verbs...
    to continue

  7. I have thought this mournful song over and over in my mind not having the courage to sing it out-how are lives are constructed from these words, the love the joy the peace the war the democracy or lack of it it all hinges on words that fail to palatalize it seems our sacred essence
    and in my dream today these images are beautiful seductive erotic images that stand for the love affair we have for life, the love affair we have for words,

    sending you beautiful thoughts and kisses on a summer wind fully realizing that this may not reach your heart not just because we are oceans away and have never met off line but well these words arent sufficient to express the essence
    {but on a lighter note they are damn fun haha.)

    thankyou beautiful Roxana

  8. How do you do it?
    If I saw a UFO and described it no one would believe me. But I would know in my bones it was real and would never forget it. That is how I feel about this work.

  9. Too beautiful Roxana, if that is possible, you burst all boundaries, and bring us dreams, dreams, dreams, endless dreams...

    Am thanking whatever twists of fate that led me to your door...

    PS Am so happy if you liked the butterfly on lavender, and put up another for you last night...
    Be well dear friend...

  10. PSah my friend I shouldn't have said that, you always appreciate my kisses, seeing them in your falling snowflakes etc.
    I just meant somehow the words fail to grasp it all in this kind of communication and elsewhere.

  11. i don't think one could ever tire of looking at these that respect they're almost at one with nature.

  12. traumgleiche Bilder und Worte, eine traurig schöne Landschaft des Lebens, Poesie...
    Dir alles Liebste, eine gute Nacht und Umarmungen, liebe Prinzessin :-)!

  13. Superbe rêve en noir et blanc !

    Un bel été pour toi Roxana !...:)


  14. wonderful photos - that light ... a magical, living library indeed

    (and the ruthless indicative is memorable)

  15. pentru ca sunt ignoranta in prea multe sensuri,plecand,evident,toate,din aceeasi sursa,firea s+a indurat de mine,cunoscandu-mi drumul,asa ca ceea ce engleza mea nu cuprindea am intuit prin contemplarea indelungata a cand,in sfarsit,am reusit sa inteleg "grosul"versurilor,am regasit toate cuvintele in monologul meu fara cuvinte cand trasesem in mine imaginile,lumina lor,zvarcolirea unei neputinte legate de frumos si alunecare in traire.pentru ca da,suntem,concomitent,prea batrani si prea necunoscatori fata de a sti,fata de oameni si curgerea vietii,pentru ca ne regasim in logica preaclarei gramatici si am vrea sa stie celalat cartile noastre,pentru a ne ragasi si ASTFEL;pentru ca exista o asceza in orice patima,pentru ca lumina lui august aminteste de crepuscul si pentru ca,poate,in crepuscul sangele ni se intalneste intr-un suvoi mare,dar toata aceasta evlavie pentru lumina,pentru,nu stiu de ce spun asta,in si canepa,pentru un trandafir de tamaie-toate incap in trupul acesta despre care atat de rar,dar tocmai de aceea mai pretios,putem spune ca nu se sfarseste.
    un dor de celalalt dintr-o carte

  16. these pictures reach into such depths that it is hard to find any words ... i have been to this post so many times, longing to speak, and finding any speech inadequate ... it is really the mystery and paradox and ache of being itself, forever poised at the edge of memory and absence ... i love the first, such somber grace and interiority ... and those in the middle, with her, seemingly on the verge of disappearance, dying into this perfect welling of the light ...

    such wonderful lines, almost too much longing to endure:

    "i, the captive, am free to run from modal verb to modal verb
    waiting in vain for a flutter of page to hurt my blood,
    for light to break your absence
    like bread upon my skin, yet again."

  17. "inside the walls of this living library" love this, and the pictures are just amazing. How ephemeral she is (we are) next to the solid books...

  18. Ghostly footsteps, blank pages, verbs whispered in past tense. Memory and captivity remain synonymous.

  19. oh, dear S., how i miss you... and how grateful i am that you are still with me, still here.

    billoo, i had a feeling, given your obsession with books, that you might have a soft spot for this post :-)

    myth, glacier of light, and fire too...

    anon, "OMG", this is praise indeed!!! :-P

  20. Prospero,
    tangled words, tangled hair, tangled heart, that's the Bridge :-)

    yes, Madeleine, i know very well what you meant when you said that about the failing kisses and the failing words, i also feel the same, and much on the Bridge is about this as well, the images reaching out in search of an expression which is beyond the reach of words... but very considerate of you to worry about a possible misunderstanding and writing that ps., thank you so much...
    not only words, but memory fails us too, and i can't even say that we can cling to pictures for the illusion of reality, because pictures invent reality also... in the end, there is nothing we can cling to, but it is perhaps for the best, at that moment, and only then, we can perhaps learn to be free?
    a bit of dark thoughts today, it is very dark here and raining, mais je t'embrasse de tout coeur et je t'envoie mes bisous qui sont rayonnants comme toujours :-)))

    Lydia :-)

    feeling in one's bones is always the true feeling, i know that :-) so i am happy and smiling now...

  21. Owen :-)
    then keep on dreaming, yes, and keep on posting those lavender butterflies, i can't have anything against that, on the contrary... i can only hope that you won't tire of feeling that :-)

    ah Renée, meine Liebste, ich war so lange weg von der Bridge, keine Zeit und keine Lust irgendwie, meine Stimmung war nicht passend und ich war nicht hier in meinen Gedanken. aber dann habe ich mir gesagt, dass es vielleicht liebe Freunde gibt, die darauf warten, dass ich poste, und so versuche ich jetzt, hier weiter zu machen... ich nehme Dich in die Arme, wie immer, und wuensche Dir einen schoenen Sonntagabend... und eine schoene Woche :-)))

  22. Jeff, tu es si court ici, je me demande si tout va bien, c'est tres rare chez toi, que tu ne laisses qu'une seule ligne... et puis tu es presque toujours absent de chez toi :-(
    mais je te remercie pour ton passage, de toute facon, et t'envoie mes meilleures pensees... je t'embrasse!

    ffflaneur, i thought you might like the light and the books and some grammar musings here :-)

    tu faci să curgă totul într-o mare poveste a Lumii, în care tâlcul pare clar şi claritatea rămâne misterioasă, numai tu reuşeşti asta, draga mea. după o asemenea frază:
    pentru ca exista o asceza in orice patima,pentru ca lumina lui august aminteste de crepuscul si pentru ca,poate,in crepuscul sangele ni se intalneste intr-un suvoi mare,dar singular.

    eu ce aş mai putea spune? nu am decât fotografiile mele, mici fărâme din acest şuvoi mare, dar singular...

    yes James, and how often she might have wished for that, disappearing away into that perfect welling of the light, cleansed of the heaviness of the past... but then there is always to opposite desire, to deepen that heaviness, to be real only in it, never let go, of any memory. somehow, i see it now, this post is very Proustian. a Proust of light :-)

    Marion, i hadn't thought of that, "how ephemeral she is (we are) next to the solid books" but now i do and i think you are right, this idea is inscribed into these pictures... thank you :-)

  23. oh, on second thoughts I'm not sure if it was the books :-)

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  25. Lynne, what a gorgeous sentence, yes, yes, what more could i say:
    Memory and captivity remain synonymous...

  26. billoo, i didn't want to voice that suspicion myself :-P

  27. Michael T., oh you too? :-)
    (i should have known)

    the Bridge is so much about this "problem" with the modal language, there is a tag there: "past unreal conditional", if you click on it you will get to see the entire history of modal-related despair on the Bridge :-)
    and here

    is perhaps the first musing on the topic, anyway one of the most important. funny, the word "to be" also gets mentioned.
    (i am still speechless about the rest, my silence, this moment, part of the black ship)

  28. Chère Roxana,
    Une très belle histoire en noir et blanc, jeu des lumières et transparence, l'instant qui s'évapore...
    Je ne viens pas assez souvent par ici, j'espère que tu me pardonneras...Je t'embrasse

  29. well, yes, I'm glad you recognized it: my obsession for light and shade.

  30. Such a raw, beautiful essay.