Tuesday, August 7, 2007

More Dress

The dress exists somewhere like a swath of beach and turquoise water, like the white hawk that swooped it seemed across my window. Is it on a department store rack, waiting for the form to embody it? I look, slip into the story of a dress which isn't my story. I see the self in the mirror as other. Revise the shape reflected in the lights of the harsh changing room. Nod at that 13 year old who grabbed the too-short dresses from the rack even as her older version grimaced you can't tell young people anything these days.

Here's what Virgil advised when I randomly opened David Ferry's translation of The Georgics.

The sun gives signs, telling you from what region
The wind is to come that blows away the clouds
Or what the stormy south is thinking of --
And who dares doubt his word? For many times
The sun has warned us of dark events to come,
Treachery, deceit, clandestine plots, and war.
When Caesar's light was quenched, the shining face
Of the sun, in pity for Rome, was covered with darkness,
And that impious generation was in fear
That there would thenceforth be eternal night.
And not only the sun but the earth and the sea gave signs,
And dogs and birds gave signs, of ill to come.

On he goes. Should I fold my tent and quit shopping?
Is this about some greater concern?
Close my eyes and flip through the book to another section?

Another Virgilian approach from his Georgics:

Whether the hive is made by sewing together
Concave strips of bark, or woven of pliant
Osier wands, be sure the entrance is narrow,
For winter cold makes the honey freeze and congeal,
Heat causes it to melt and liquefy,
And either of these is a cause of fear for the bees.

So help them out, by spreading mud or clay
Over the walls of their hive, and maybe scatter
A few leaves over it, too. Be sure there isn't
A yew tree growing too near where the hive is placed;
Beware of roasting crab too close to it, too --
The smoke is poisonous to the bees; beware
Of any place where the smell of mud prevails,
Or where a voice from within a hollow rock
Comes echoing back in response to the sound that struck it.

That's what I need -- a little mud on my hive.

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