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Thursday, 2 July 2009




Memento (special edition DVD menu): photo by Dark Kubrick, 2007

The objects upon which their lives rubbed off
Some patina of a thousand tender hopes
From which the morning gladness had not yet gone
Some monument to pure hearts poor few keepsakes

Surrendered into the hands of bereaved
By departed hardly planned perhaps
Unconscious transmission aura of past
Which harbors within the shored fragments

Cargo cult histories hardly worth saving
Except they did as people do mid loss hold
Back something – self’s drive to memorialize
Itself? not finally lose everything

Some last thing to be remembered by some sign
(I was here) at all cost not to surrender
That last claim on life don’t forget us they cry
From that other world of grey light and shadow

Holding out spectral this sad sack of clues to say
For love is human merely to surrender
The site yet clutch the objects of memory
Left us survivors here bewildered holding the bag


Alva Svoboda said...

I love the counterpoint between the insistent claims of afterlife illusions in this poem and "The Spell" -- in the latter, the almost undetectable gentle attempts by the shades to pierce the veil we desperately hope is there, in "Mementos" the residues of the desire to not cross over at all, to leave an essence here, tidal forces pulling us over there leaving cracked shells behind. I like the personalization of "cargo cult" here too -- you've used that term before in more like culture comment, but there's more poignancy in the usage here. Maybe we're willing to allow these cracked bits to represent us, no matter how severe the seeming distortion, because we have hopes of really great archaeologists coming along in a billion years or so who'll know how to put the whole thing together again?

TC said...


Yes, it's the poignancy and pathos of the claim staked in the poor pathetic material trifles, as though some part of the human remained alive in what has been touched, saved, stored, kept--or maybe just lost and forgotten in the back of a drawer or a closet, to be cleaned out by the survivors, for whom these sad objects take on a significance that was perhaps never invested them in the first place. The transference of feeling into things, inevitable, ineffable, strange.