Notes for the photographer

Don’t push too hard for fidelity
because looking at a photograph
you really have no idea
what it felt like to be standing
just this side of that sky,
feet in the mud, those foot-sized
bricks framing your heart.

Avoid the light in polar places
and try to catch the drip, drip, drip
of reality disappearing just off-camera,
those eyes aged into history
while no one was looking.

When you dip roses, even roses
into the frail cold of liquid nitrogen,
“J’accuse!” they shout.
“M’amuse!” we shout back,
sometimes in anguish, sometimes despair,
as they lie shattered around us.


Through the train window
Flashing eternity
Rolling, rolling, rolling
The hillsides by.

Later, I’ll say
I’ve been there,
Traveled through that place
Convinced and mystified.

Later still, I’ll return
And say
That’s not how it was

All skewed and modified
By isolation from memory
By lack of congruity
By the irrefutable