I suspect the sudden jump(!) in non-lemmings has everything to do with William Michaelian’s response to my recent post regarding his A Listening Thing; I thank him for his gesture and welcome Gabriella Mirollo, Brad and Kiki Thome, a Canadian residing at These Temporal Rooms, and an artist who prefers to remain anonymous—I thank all of you, too.
I think that most of us have been--at one time or another (to repeat an oft repeated cliche)--"at a loss for words"--and I think I've been there more often than most of you, although I have no way of knowing if that's true or not, but perhaps that's not what's important right now. I think what's important for me right now is to tell all of you I've been trying to find the right words to describe this amazing book and I'm still at a loss. What now? Will William Michaelian/Stephen Monroe hold that against me? Of course not and I appreciate that fact but I also want them to know that even if I am at a loss for words, I can still find enough to say they have given me a gift that is priceless, and I'm inexpressibly grateful for that.
In these all-white courtyards
where the south wind blows Whistling through vaulted arcades, tell me, is
it the mad pomegranate tree That leaps in the light, scattering its
fruitful laughter With windy willfulness and whispering, tell me,
is it the mad pomegranate tree That quivers with foliage newly born at dawn Raising high its colours in a shiver of
On plains where the naked
girls awake, When they harvest clover with their light brown
arms Roaming round the borders of their dreams-tell
me, is it the mad pomegranate tree, Unsuspecting, that puts the lights in their
verdant baskets That floods their names with the singing of
birds-tell me Is it the mad pomegranate tree that combats the
cloudy skies of the world?
On the day that it adorns itself in jealousy
with seven kinds of feathers, Girding the eternal sun with a thousand
blinding prisms Tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree That seizes on the run a horse’s mane of a
hundred lashes, Never sad and never grumbling–tell me, is it
the mad pomegranate tree That cries out the new hope now dawning? Tell me, is that the pomegranate tree waving in
the distance, Fluttering a handkerchief of leaves of cool
flame, A sea near birth with a thousand ships and
more, With waves that a thousand times and more set
out and go To unscented shores-tell me, is it the
pomegranate tree That creaks the rigging aloft in the lucid air?
High as can be, with the blue bunch of grapes
that flares and celebrates Arrogant, full of danger–tell me, is it the mad
pomegranate tree That shatters with light the demon’s tempest in
the middle of the world That spreads far as can be the saffron ruffle
of day Richly embroider with scattered songs-tell me,
is it the mad pomegranate tree That hastily unfastens the silk apparel of day?
In petticoats of April first and cicadas of the
feast of mid-August Tell me, that which plays, that which rages,
that which can entice Shaking out of threats their evil black
darkness Spilling in the sun’s embrace intoxicating
birds Tell me, that which opens its wings on the breast
of things On the breast of our deepest dreams, is that
the mad pomegranate tree?