Wednesday, December 26, 2012

News of the Old

There's a carousel in Paris
Older than any human being.
Rilke was enraptured by it.
Wars and invasions have spared it.

Why does this feel significant?
An arrangement of wood and steel,
Nineteenth-century novelty,
Rotating, hand-cranked nostalgia,

It's just there, like anything else,
And just as undefinable
Around the edges where it joins
Everything by a different name.

A contraption can last forever,
Like a Galapagos tortoise
Or a Utah aspen cluster,
As long as the nouns stick to it,

However nouns are coats of paint,
And languages pass overhead
Like fast weather. White elephants
Grey. Allez, les enfants, allez!

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