“Sometimes—in the middle of fair night—/when disobedient moon turns vandal/and violently rips off the bolts/of my window-shutters, my eyelids…”
variation on a theme of John Barth’s
recommendation for “prescriptive grammar”
as a healer of sorts (The End of the Road)
Sometimes—in the middle of fair night—
when disobedient moon turns vandal
and violently rips off the bolts
of my window-shutters, my eyelids,
forcing them open to cells of unreclaimed
remembrance—memory funeral, tenebrous—
or when the microscopic pea underneath
my forty princely mattresses turns loose,
having to disoblige what little rest
my ailing thoughts laboriously secured
from tight-fisted sleep,
I fear that disorder might creep in
the spacious crevasse of Big Ben’s entrails
to overturn good old punctilious time.
In these foreboding nights of chaos pending
I reach for a dictionary, of any kind,
and greedily feed on its law,
its system, structure, rhythm.
Of course, I learn nothing of the art
of holding reservations for tempest
in a harmonious, apollonian lodging.
Youlika Masry, a dual citizen of Greece and the United States, completed her legal education in Greece and France and also studied political theory in the United States. In addition to publishing poetry, she writes and translates books and essays in literature; the social sciences; religion and theology.