3.343 no excuse whatever (51)

Fri, 11 Aug 89 20:49:02 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 343. Friday, 11 Aug 1989.

Date: 11 August 1989
From: Willard McCarty <MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: from: Five Letters

Your unwritten letters insist on a reply:
Those unread letters, memorized
In the unfuddled fever of waiting,
In the fugue of some voyage, or in sleeplessness,
Bitter and bright with your breath and the snow
On the window of this room;
did you forget
The postcode? I breathed it, unreadably perhaps,
Into the music you love; I jotted it in the margin
Of a page in a book you are afraid to read
At night, when its truth flashes like phosphor
Between the black of the print.
Let me answer:
Nothing can dissolve this toxic glue of years
Binding hope to space, and time to faithfulness
To the spaces of hope.
As for misfortune --
It is merely the sister of some absent wisdom,
The shadow, perhaps, of foreseen defeat;

This meaning eludes me, as does the meaning
Of music, which is, even so, mathematics;
Though I only count with two or three
Golden numbers distilled from your name.
So, maybe, we both lose out.
However, can take our place
In this pattern of effects, written by
The numbered hand of a god into the amnesia
Of the stars, into the brief memory
Of drying ink,
Into your unwritten letters.

Ivan V. Lalic'
trans. Francis R. Jones
TLS 4505 (Aug. 4-10 1989): 842.