Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-nine
Winter 2015
It’s Snowing
Ted Lardner

I’m in my head again.
In the snow, some lights are on, some off.
I spent Tuesday driving to Indiana,
Wednesday driving home.
In Indiana I’d presented at George’s university.
George gave me copies of his two recent books.
He said, “You keep coming back
to the language of Williams,
the idiom of the objective world.”
I thought about what he said as I read his poems.
Thought about the unconscious.
Surrealism’s leaps,
where one lands with the deep
image, for instance, of cars on the upside-down
road, the turnpike to the bottom
of the world.

Today, a yoga teacher told me she’s been making
a six-month study of pranayama.
The regulation of the breath, she said,
is showing her how to move prana around in her body.
She feels, she said, smiling as she spoke,
like she is sometimes about to lift off the ground.
I was thinking about India in George’s poems.
The ghats’ smoke, the smell,
burning bodies, mingled in the splash
of wash pots dipped into the Ganges.
Dysentery. The silky-looking scars
on the mutilated limbs of begging children.
It is snowing outside. I was thinking,
as the teacher smiled, how the objective world
is no small potato. Time, for instance, is complicated.
George said, “Everything is happening at once.
It’s just, we don’t experience it that way.”

I ask him again about that point now, even though he is out of earshot.
Down in the bottoms, I walk in the snow with Junebug.
Snow in the cattails. Snow on open water falling, a hidden spring
whooshing deep through the marsh.
(Space, complicated also.)
I ask, as I had asked him, actually, Wednesday.
As I had driven back, I was thinking the question
and I am thinking it now.
He in no way can have heard me, not as far away as he is.
The dog—Junebug!—rattling into the swamp, acres of cattails,
snow sliding off her.

About Ted Lardner

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