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The last glimpse you had
of someone,
before their demise,
can never really live up
to its retrospect singularity,
stuck in its impedance,
on repeat
like Terry Riley's harmonium piece
Untitled Organ,
since, first of all,
it was just a commonplace, fleeting moment,
with an approximate duration of three seconds;
not special in any way,
not dressed-up
not bookmarked,
not recorded,
not even jotted
- in fact, neither pleasant nor unpleasant,
for really,
you had to sift through that afternoon
to even recall the swift, peripheral encounter;
the ”hello!” which, secondly,
was but an auto-piloted brainstem reflex in passing;
a familiar face flashing past on the sidewalk,
your head busy with formulations
for a professional talk you'd volunteered to conduct
that same afternoon,
or maybe just drooling ideas for this poem,
when you suddenly registered your own voice
shooting off an involuntary ”hi!”,
like a fart on a bus, almost startling you
in it's clandestine clarity,
disturbing your on-going thoughtstream;
your anatomy, for the most part,
minding itself

- and then, back from lunch,
you heard about that truck,
that heart failure,
that mortar attack,
that suicide

- and right off
you commenced scrutinizing that hazy moment,
still so fresh, that, albeit basically forgotten,
it hadn't even fallen to the ground;
now caught in your mind's eye, singled out,
placed under the microscope of recollection,
studied from all angles of mental cache forensics,
circling your suddenness in stupefied words like
”but I just saw him, we said hello...”,
and you couldn't have been any more studious
had you examined a Mondrian or a Philip Guston
or one of the Dutch masters
for an essay in an art magazine,
or, for that matter,
each millisecond of a cut-up piece
of musique concrète
for your own petty pleasure

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Publicerad 2023-11-20 10:10

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