Our language can be seen as an ancient
Surely meant a baptized city, for
The names come only with the blessing…
And even though he boards in Muzot, finds
A seat with a window so he can watch
The rain, a pad and pen and swollen eyes—
His naming is no longer for the living,
He knows that. Squatting, old, narrow-gauge trains:
He studies his reflection in the dark tunnels
In the glass: There is swelling, that
Awful puffiness, rust in the throat…
Mimetic passion, not rocket science.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain -
To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thus Keats, who, he reminds himself, wrote:
Wasting of old Time -with a billowy main,
A sun, a shadow of a magnitude.
Yet still it rains; the rails, become archaic
Through the Goddard Pass,
His final way of seeing mountain peaks .
In 1926 as the snow melts…
Tsvetayeva has written:
Your name is poetry! Exclaims:
Your name is poetry! But she always
May I hail you like this!
Your baptism was the prologue to
The whole of you!
It even smells of death in this train. Dead mice
Under the seats. Why would Marina think
Of baptism here, his baptism?
Rilke, may I help you?
Read death, read mort, but not for ‘mortal’, for
A mort is only played if some music
Is needed at the blessing. Mort:
A horn will sound announcing death,
A horn to announce a new beginning,
Of a life’s deep death in deep
Snow…wolves abound…and not a perfect trip
Through the Alps…
Marina Leukemia on his
Baptism into the ancient city:
Herr Rilke your very name
Is a poem. You are a phenomenon
Of nature. The poet who comes after you
My dear, Rainer; my soul, my Maria,
My blood coagulates and sinks
Into the snow. I take to my heart:
One poet only lives, and now and then
Who bore him, and who bears him now, will meet.
And never meet. (There is one only) in
A lightning field, canaries in a cage—
How could we meet?
The world betrays us,
I know, for a field of fire, for poetry
Is correspondence from a great distance
Made only greater by our love.
Great honor, great poet,
(signed) Not for reading. Marina.
© Jim Kleinhenz