Poetry Archives Bio


October 2, 2019

To Sophie Grace Shields

a window is a picture
many windows imply many pictures
but pictures don't multiply
like windows multiply

the house painted black
three houses down from your mother's house
has a large window
it is an ugly picture

pretending to be beautiful
inside the house painted black
hang frames without pictures
we shall pay them no mind

william carlos williams wrote about frames that are windows
or windows that are frames
eyeglasses that (though they themselves don't see
admit vision and light
focus attention and command thought

i have seen a beautiful window
for days and days i have seen it
but i did not see it at all
admitting vision and light
i was blind to it

but today i saw it
the most beautiful window
a window out of which to gaze
a window that frames
locomotion and still life alike

i've seen some good windows in my day
car windows (as a child
on whose moist flesh we inscribed our destinies
the blind loupes of the ferry that magnify and distort
or the windows of our house  beautiful and manifold

but this was a different window
a window of the body and a window of the soul
they say that eyes are the windows of the soul
are windows then the souls of eyes
and is the soul a glance thrown through a window

what does this window show

a street with a neat row of houses
one two three four trees
a black truck frozen in frame
a red fire hydrant (so much depends upon
one two three bicycle racks
and one two bicycles
a sidewalk  a pavement  a road
a grey car turning
the back of an OPEN sign
a thin tree glimpsing two women laughing

what does this window not show

the dirt under the red awning
the beer can there thrown and forgotten
small white string lights
the wooden panelling that frames the window
itself framed
my love for you
my schrödinger's lover
who can walk right into this scene
this very moment
or who cannot

every poem I write is dedicated to you
even if it bears no dedication
every window i pass holds an image of you
every frame frames you
and your disdain of constraint

we shall unfreeze now the window
the woman will put on
her bicycle helmet
the black truck will pass the lights
the grey car will turn

the four green trees will gently sway
to and fro with much mystery
I will collect my coffee
and hurry through a green glade
back to the house

you will send messages
about things i have managed
to annoy you with today
i will write you a love poem
thinking of frames and windows and pictures