More and more now I am prone to forget.
and words drift by me like a river, with all its flotsam and its jetsam,
flowing like it will never ever be the same.
I search amongst the ripples
for molecules of a similar nature
But they are, each and every one of them, startlingly different.
Curiosity, though, has not yet decayed:
History, science in general, the universe
in particular, holds my interest.
Yesterday I listened to a tape, a professorial
declamation of American history encompassing
the era from the death of Lincoln to the First World War.
Phrases, incidents, aphorisms remain in memory
The names, however, have dissipated;
a kind of disjunction has occurred,
particulate ideas like galaxies that have shifted into the red
What does one know? The sharp edge becomes blurred,
then proceeds, via majolica and opalescence, to an invisible sheen.
One must wonder if the process, once set in motion,
has become irreversible. Thus one may walk
into a room, and then,
not really knowing why you are there
turn, and walk out again
Without a thought. A ghostly encounter,
a passage of seasons, a reversal of the magnetic poles.
You must first remember
before you forget
There was some arcane syndrome whose victims
must need start each day
as though it were their first: Names, faces, addresses
wiped clean. Thus the stresses of each afternoon
become again pure, white ( the serenity of the fetal mind )
Each experience is newly felt
Each sin is “original”
Each rose is an infant’s delight.
What is most cruel, therefore, is to know
that these flowers will not merely fade
but will be erased, that in each day’s light
a new life must recommence.
Remembering and forgetting, forgetting and remembering.
They are the twins: Castor and Pollox,
the Corsican Brothers, intertwined, interdependent
forever competing; like a balance beam
one is not able to exist without the other.
For hours I sit
reading the dictionary: searching
for the definitions of words that I knew when I was younger
and though I think I ought to be fearful
it gives me pleasure,
and I wonder, repeatedly I wonder, at this deep sense of enjoyment.