Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Two pantomime children

A few months ago, I saw To What Earth Does This Sweet Cold Belong? at the Power Plant in Toronto. I picked up a copy of Christian Bök's poem "Midwinter Glaciaria" which was available with the show. It's a long and dense poem filled with dreamlike imagery and spiderweb tangents. I cut the poem into stanzas and have been letting them float around on my desk. Even though I've read it all many times, each reading brings new details and another trip down the rabbit hole.

Deciduous trees, black without foliation, etch neural pathways on a dream of glass photographs. Nitrates of silver electroplate mirrors. Peroxide evaporates from smashed ampoules of ice. Timberwolves circle the clearing. Two pantomime children perform there the drama of winter. The girl in lace pouring pitchers of ice water over the kneeling form of her nude sister, whose shivers subside into an icy chrysalis. The audience unseen as it watches liquid nitrogen spill over the edge of the stage.

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