Monday, December 7, 2009

Words and Signs

It was Saussure who said
that words and signs are not
always one.

Random is their relationship
as he had it defined.
A word is what it is by being
what it is not.

Just as the word
man is by being what
it is not—woman.

But it is this world of
construct that we are
born into.

We have to relate to
each other using
our words and our signs.

These words and signs
that mean what they mean
and mean what they do not mean.

In this imperfect world,
I have to relate to you.
To say what I want to say
only to say what I do not want to say.

I have no other choice
than to be this:

Born in this imperfect world,
using these imperfect words and signs,
I cannot help but be
who I am
by not being you.

And not be who
I am by being
who I really am.


Discovering Sharon Olds

True Love
by Sharon Olds

In the middle of the night, when we get up
after making love, we look at each other in
complete friendship, we know so fully
what the other has been doing. Bound to each other
like mountaineers coming down from a mountain,
bound with the tie of the delivery room,
we wander down the hall to the bathroom, I can
hardly walk, I wobble through the granular
shadowless air, I know where you are
with my eyes closed, we are bound to each other
with huge invisible threads, our sexes
muted, exhausted, crushed, the whole
body a sex—surely this
is the most blessed time of my life,
our children asleep in their beds, each fate
like a vein of abiding mineral
not discovered yet. I sit
on the toilet in the night, you are somewhere in the room,
I open the window and snow has fallen in a
steep drift, against the pane, I
look up, into it,
a wall of cold crystals, silent
and glistening, I quietly call to you
and you come and hold my hand and I say
I cannot see beyond it. I cannot see beyond it.