February 2001

Diane Reynolds


Diane Reynolds holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University's School of the Arts and works as a writing and web-content consultant in Austin, Texas.
Pinhole Photography

The other side is equally familiar: drifting
to sleep, I am brought up short
by the unachieved or cheap resolution,
the tableau barely vivant, the short story
I began, that someone else finished,
the abandoned history frozen in place,
like a boot in a puddle, forever untimely
but somehow suspended in its own logic,
a brain poised on the edge of decision,
or tragedy: the loss, the defeat,
the deteriorations that hang from cliffs
of subtle despondency, falling
forever, failing even to fall.

This is what I had hoped that art
would manage for me, these completions,
the satisfactions and ravishments just the clutter
of the whole earth made clear
by omission, the masterful stroke: after all,
I cannot bear the whole
sky at once, nor all the beauties
shifting lasciviously at once
in rumpled beds, or any kind
of entirety, apparently made plain.

All I really want, apart from that, is to be saved
from the hapless delineations
of the usual, to be, that is, hacked
from light: I need a pose,
a fresh perspective and new subjects,
perhaps another century or some subtle light
from which, static, my subjects
can be transformed, by love
presumably, that old device, to objects, and from which
they will never decline to something less forgivable and leave
making me ache for their former composures. No,
here they'll be safe, bottled in brine, and mine to keep. 

Then I will point and say
how this is the flight into Egypt, and this
the visitation, here Leda,
ravished once more.



Diane Reynolds: Poetry
Copyright � 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 15The Cortland Review