October 26, Istanbul Ferry
a shallow run of thoughts
on a deep and ancient strait.
No matter to attract, I’m prey
to influence, but this would
conquer breath at any time.
‘You’ seems wrong – there should
be another word for strangers –
but somebody, some-she,
drains a porthole of the
latening sun and sits there
in unflinching gold.
The mysteries of the skin
exposed; hair a mass of textured
glints; eyes set down a tone.
Five minutes, was it four,
she made a pact with some
sardonic power and equalled
all the beauty in the world.
Then, our waters done, she stands
and breaks the angle of the light,
ready to be one of us again.
Review by Nancy Sobanik
A traveler observes a woman transfigured on the ferry into an apparent goddess- ”… some-she/drains a porthole of the/ latening sun and sits there in unflinching gold”. The exquisite moment ends as the trip draws to a close, and the woman “stands and breaks the angle of the light, ready to be one of us again”. David Dumouriez succeeds in creation of a fanciful moment during a mundane commute, bringing the reader full circle back to reality.
Review by Massimo Fantuzzi
À la compagne de voyage
Dont les yeux, charmant paysage
Font paraître court le chemin
Qu’on est seul, peut-être, à comprendre
Et qu’on laisse pourtant descendre
Sans avoir effleuré la main
On pleure les lèvres absentes
De toutes ces belles passantes
Que l’on n’a pas su retenir
(Georges Brassens, Les Passantes)
To the journey companion
Whose eyes, charming landscape
Turn the path shorter
That we are the only ones, perhaps, to understand
And still, let her walk away
Without touching her hand
We cry for the absent lips
Of all those beautiful passers-by
We couldn’t hold onto
(Georges Brassens, Les Passantes)
Our focus – doing what it was created for – falls prey. Likewise, our breath – carrying out its statutory business – sinks captured. Rapt, we fall chained to another lapse. Something plants itself in front of us and eclipses the horizon. It would be reductive, however, to think of this as a poem about a woman’s beauty; this is about stopping and noticing the harmony of things, the synchronicities going on in this world, our home.
Recently, I was impressed by the words of William Shatner after his space flight (yes, let’s put aside all we think about this millionaires’ new wave of vanity projects). A little off script perhaps, his words weren’t of discovery or futuristic success or conquering: palpable darkness I believe I saw death, and again, overwhelming sadness for the Earth.
Out there is but nothingness, sense of loss, grief: it turns out, we are called earthlings for a reason. Life and Beauty are found here and (as far as one can see) here alone. Even when harshly intransigent and merciless, Life obeys laws of harmony, and, lucky for us, poets don’t need a multimillion-dollar ride in a space dildo to make us appreciate that.
Review by Jared Pearce
While it’s probably right to admit that, at the end, the you/she will, “be one of us again,” I was wondering why that has to be so—why can’t the speaker be blown away by beauty, by a sudden revelation of the power of the stranger, and then allow (?) that stranger to remain in her exalted sphere perhaps indefinitely? Sure, people probably are more normal than that, and maybe the whole thing was a trick of the light, but what if our strangers were really much more dynamic than we can see, even for the moment we slip between two ports?