Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Out Dusty Windows

There’s something charming,
No, that word’s not right,
Something arresting

To discovering,
Thanks to translation,
Ernaux’s notation

In Getting Lost, on
The fall of the Wall—
History again

Becomes, she observes,
It’s that word, again,

At least in English,
That’s arresting—or
Again plus becomes.

History again?
History becomes

You feel like scoffing,
When has history
Been predictable?

But that gives you pause.
Of course history
Is predictable.

In the finest grain
Of nights and days, in
Its grandest arches,

History trudges
Boringly along
As a mill-wheel mule.

It’s in the middle
Range history is

The range which happens
To most concern you,
Across the decades.

This is curious.
Why would history
Be most surprising

At a lifetime’s scale,
At middle distance?
You neglect Ernaux

For a while, staring
Out dusty windows.
History again

Appears confusing,
Narratively strange,
Like a horizon,

Simple at the rims,
But complex across
The span you transit.

Could prediction be,
Like God, the problem,
Appearing to solve

A problem it makes
Worse, or just creates?
Without prediction,

Lust for prediction,
Prediction status,
Could uncertainty

Be just what goes on,
Never more or less

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