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Sunday, December 27, 2009

SWEDISH INTERMENT, Illinois Enchantment

Illinois Enchantment

You know it's bullshit, honey,
This talk of visionary moment and prophetic feat,
No more than ploy,
Another way me getting into your pants.

Yet loving you no quick turn of verse,
It is serious task, requiring dedicated effort.

At prognostication I am gifted.
I have always been able to see around corners.
On that, our first night we had slept together,
You may recall, I told you I saw our future,
I knew how it was to transpire.

And once you actually experience,
Live an event which I prefigure,
You recognize about it uncanny familiarity,
Déjà vu, you feel the situation,
As if it were previously known,
Or may have been already played,
An occurrence, you would swear,
You had witnessed ages before.

This power strikes deep. It causes tremble,
And it bestows pleasant excitement;
It makes life expectant.
With me you will learn to swoon and shudder.
You will know warm and be hot all over,
Whereas others freeze in midwinter.

I told you your grandfather speaks to me.
His voice emerges from a dream.
Though the setting is familiar, my own bedroom,
The light comes from afar,
Suffusing the space and me within it,
I dwell in delicious, excellent hues of red and green.

He tells me I am the man of the house,

Oh! He speaks with unmistakable clarity,
Happiness the product of our life together.

I have another secret; I want to share with you.
I envision major experience,
Not unlike Leda's when she learned;
It was a god who had entered her.

You should know from you will issue --
Yes, marvelous to relate! --
Being supreme, a mortal whose
Life and renown, belongs to that golden,
Regal realm, where Homer rules king.

I slip, revealing more than I intend.

I knew it. I recognized it early on in my life,
Long years before your birth,
Within truck farm fields,
Along the rows of cabbage and corn,
My love for you was growing strong,
I had sight then, ears to catch the sounds,
And nose to whiff out the dreams,
Conferred on me, oracular, from on high.

I stepped out from the Hitching Post Diner.
I saw you! It was you.
On the packed-mud bridal path, just ahead,
By a yard or two, down the trail were you,
Your form, it preceded me, walking apace.

This last August, eleventh,
Before we had begun to date,
Between bed sheets wet from too much sweat,
Your heat wakened me.

I rose up, breathed in the air, and
I learned the smell of you!
They were your odors bursting up my nostrils
From the threads of woven cotton,
While me in my bed that lonely summer's night.

I had instantly recognized those fragrances,
Once I slept with you,
Once your presence entered my pores.

And now, again, the moment, fate commands
My fingers on the keyboard in front of me.
Before I had met you,
I realize I heard it, your name!
I heard your name,
It came to me from time, prior,
Yes, actually previous to your birth!

I assure you, when yet not adolescent, a child,
No more than ten or eleven years old,
I witnessed destiny from landscape in Illinois.
The refocusing veils of shimmer, aurora borealis,
The phantasmagoric curtains of shifting color,

So utterly present, then, in a feint,
As if by trick of hand, gone, shows of polar light had
Held me captive; I had fallen to trance, bewitched.

And in the midst of this awesome display,
From the far North, your name, I heard it.

I heard! I heard your name; it was announced,
While green and red flames crackled,
Burned along the vault of the universe,
I looked, glimpsed into future time.

And that very self-same night,
I was no more than ten or eleven years old,
From the backyard lawn of my childhood home,
Facing North and up into nighttime colors,
Once more sky portended hereafter,
It was world beyond my youth and Illinois.

I saw oak trees; they grew outside a low, black iron fence,
Before that fence a fresh, earthen mound,
And at its head a cemetery marker,
My name, it was struck upon a gravestone.
I understood. I knew in an instance the certainty;
The ground I saw upturned, it was in Sweden.

I heard! I heard your name; it was announced,
While green and red flames crackled,
Burned along the vault of the universe,

In a flash, in enchanting shift of color,
I envisioned the circumstance of my own interment.

I was a child, no more than ten or eleven years old,
I stood entranced, captive,
Gazing into the aurora borealis, bewitched.

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