Tuesday, 30 March 2010

March: Desert Night Lizard

How can a writer be trusted?

How can we know that what is written, and what is read are the same thing?

We cannot. We are the ineffectual jury, who interpret the word as beautiful or moving, but comprehend it not. The truth eludes us, like a lizard in the desert, or like the moon this month, curtained by clouds of sleet and snow.

How can a novel, a poem, a play imitate life when in truth it does not exist? What fidelity to the human experience can we glean from the page once the ephemeral is snapped shut between the covers? This, or that, is all we have: the book is bound and on this hard, hard back we place our hand and swear. On something not even there.

And Bill? You choose. He too is wherever, whatever, whomever your imagination allows you to roam, to do, to be (or not – if that is the question.)

Moon Phases, March 2010

Last Quarter – March 7, 15:42
New Moon – March 15, 21:01
First Quarter – March 23, 11:00
Full Moon – March 30, 02:25

MARCH: Lizard Moon (San Juan)

Desert Night Lizard: Xantusia Vigilis

To the San Juan, he may be a god.
Poised on a bare rock

in the relative nocturnal chill sits Bill:
uncle, cousin, man-in-the-street to us;

Peopled by an oh-so-ordinary name,
Placed tail-up in a jar, ineffectual juror.

How did he come to be there? Nobody knows:

a slither of lit-silver traces his skittering trail
in the once-gold, arid Nevada sand.

With a flick of his tongue and a trick of the tail
He's gone. Yet somewhere still

His smooth-skinned, wide-eyed stare
keeps vigil. Brer Bill. Herr Bill.


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