Saturday, March 24, 2012

Doppelgänger


Doppelgänger

"That which is below is like that which is above that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing."
~Isaac Newton, 
translating from The Emerald Tablet



Walking in tandem on the mirrored world
shadowlinked foot to foot, fingers across
eyes behind eyes, pressing out sighs
and sights that neither wants to see,
nonetheless hung unerased
on the rack of each broken embrace, 
laughing tears that would bounce
too high against that tired
cracked reflector facing up.

So let the bucket spin down again
down, where it’s deepest black
where dark’s so strong, so long
there’s no feel left for solid or sop
where the only thing that bubbles up
is oblivion. Above, everything still
wanders off, it’s an empty night
with a blackmailer’s eye
watching for when to apply 

the screws, everything to lose
whichever of us is really walking
on this sparkling silver sky.
Oh I can see perfectly why
no one else wants to mix up in it,
this blender of cosmic goo, 
why it's just we two,
staggering in sync, twin spiders
on either side of a plate of night.

There's not much you can tell me
about the mysteries you hide that 
I don't know. I've already learned that
if a woman stands alone beneath
Michaelangelo’s god bedecked array
looking up in awe, it's true
there'll be a man behind her looking up 
her skirt, and who’s to say
who has the better view.


February-March 2012



Posted for   Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub

 The multi-talented James Rainsford is hosting at the pub today, and has brought out some of his unique and always amazing photographs for us to work from.The title of the picture I've chosen is Reflections, and though I gave my poem a different title, it could easily have borrowed his as well.




Image: Reflections, by James Rainsford
Used with permission


31 comments:

  1. I do love the ending. It made me smile. Yes, who is to say???

    ReplyDelete
  2. hehe...maybe the man...hahaha.sorry i am in a silly mood...been at science fest all day and my butt has gone numb...that is where i do most of my thinking you know...

    anyway, to your poem...delicious dark edge to it...the title itself evocative...this really picks up in the second stanza for me...bringing out the dark underside....love the lowering of the bucket...a night with black mailers eyes as well...nice...the laughing tears....a bit of madness...careful you start talking to those reflections hedge...

    superbly done ma'am...hope you are having fun with the little...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love all the doubling in this delicious poem. And, I don't know, you may have meant just to be humorous in the last stanza, but, as much as I love art, if a beautiful girl was standing in front of a painting, I don't care what the painting is, I'm going to be looking at her.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha! smart finish indeed! As above, so below, as they say. Thought this awesome Joy...as it always is, and my apologies for lack of visits lately. Got my fix before the withdrawals were too bad though :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. As I expected, a brilliantly intelligent and considered response to my photo. I had many possible stories imagined for this image, but you've made it your own and your opening:

    "Walking in tandem on the mirrored world
    shadowlinked foot to foot,"

    will forever be in my mind when I view my picture.

    Thank you Joy.

    PS. I know who has the better view, but I'm not saying! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you James--that was the first thing I thought of when I saw it on facebook, and wrote it down, fortunately. One of my favorite photographs of yours.

      Delete
  6. That ending adds a whole new dimension to "As below, so above," but I've gotta cast my vote for that second stanza.

    ReplyDelete
  7. i found some funny things here like losing the screws and the man looking up her skirt. :)

    suffocated reflction

    ReplyDelete
  8. "either side of a plate of night" That's poetry, Witch!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, this really blew me away. I mean your stuff does anyway but this is intense. Your sight into the mirror world that mimics this one - at least the one that I think is real - is simply amazing. I know I've said you give entry to that weirdness that is life anyway, but this does even more than that, opening up a doorway to another life, another world cohabiting this one. I just hope it's not the Chthulu. Amazing work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I have a rose bush I've nicknamed Cthulu (for it's thorny tentacles) Thanks Charles--as always, you just get it.

      Delete
  10. Ha..so good and such a clever ending :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this one! The air of mystery, from the title to the surprising finish. I especially love the image of "twin spiders
    on either side of a plate of night."

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is so clever--very very clever at the beginning but very funny at the end. K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, K. I'd much rather be funny than clever anytime, especially at the end. ;_)

      Delete
  13. I like the opening lines:

    Walking in tandem on the mirrored world
    shadowlinked foot to foot

    The ending lines made me smile ~ Beautiful work Hedge ~

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hate to start my review with words such as: This is great poetry... Because it seems such a lame way to respond to something as multi-layered and intellectually stimulating as this is. I thank you instead, for constantly writing at the highest level, and moving the bar upward each time you do.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Indeed, who IS to say who has the better view? The poem, too, gives us the Michelangelo view before the unexpected, quite delightful, end.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I knew you'd bring the darkness to this prompt. I love how you used the narrative in tandem- talking about the two people pictured in James' fantastic photograph. It spoke to me about how we can all have different sides to our personalities - sometimes we don't know which one is really leading us . I really liked the lines about the spiders on twin plates of night- this was just awesome. There's so much to be read into here- so many metaphors- I'm going to read it again.....

    ReplyDelete
  17. smiles...i stood there in the sistine chapel, looking up to the michelangelo painting...but hopefully...smiles....love your play on the doppelgänger hedge and esp. loved
    ....this blender of cosmic goo,
    why it's just we two,
    staggering in sync, twin spiders
    on either side of a plate of night.... the plate of night....so visual...so much texture...love it..

    ReplyDelete
  18. You are so gifted. You are so gifted. You are so gifted. Thank you for the gift of your poems.

    ReplyDelete
  19. lol...that ending is so fabulous! Just love this poem...your imagery and word choices "twin spiders on either side of a plate of night" You are indeed, so gifted... :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Magnificent as ever, I love reading your work.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "...an empty night with a blackmailer's eye..." So it is, that shadow world, that Other. I love also the bucket, the twin spiders,and that final zesty image that breaks the tension & leaves us smiling. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. "...Above, everything still
    wanders off, it’s an empty night
    with a blackmailer’s eye
    watching for when to apply

    the screws, everything to lose
    whichever of us is really walking
    on this sparkling silver sky."

    These words, felt so novel, so accurate, so poetic. You capture something still and threatening within the photograph. The night here hides more than shadows. And the poem reveals more with subsequent reads. As always, brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  23. It takes a blue dark to see in the inscape clearly, free of the light that lies too readily, that conspires to convince us that difference is inescapable and final. The dark eye perceives I and Thou to be a tandem and not an opposition, two perspectives of one identity, like lovers sharing one house or gender seeing the same thing with eyes varied by hormone and acculturation. Every alchemist needs a soror for their work, beloved infinite, beyond human, stellar Tarot in the form of the deep-inner-space paramour, helping to read the cards whichever way they fall, for better or verse. Dark mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the foulest fairest of all? Me or me? Don't ask if you don't want it to tell don't draw out the dreadful distinctions if you don't want to see the more dreadful marriage of sames. As above, so below; hardest is the knowledge that everything on the inside of the spinning hula hoop determines the curve and whirl of the worlds without. Your final stanza is a perfect rendition of the Devil Tarot card, where the woman gazes at the sky to see god, and the man stares at the woman's naked body to get the same view. Dark blue tea leaves are best for cooking poems that bubble like this, deep under the surface, its fire so dark it's hard to see the heart for all of the burning rose bushes. Oh yeah, and the poem was great, which I read as a paean to love's torture, such agony yet calyxing rapture, if one could look at it from behind the one staring up at David's marbled, er, brow. - Brendan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, B. Sharp catch on the Tarot card, smiling at the last line. Yes, the poem itself, about duality, is a dichotomy and was when I wrote it, not exactly as a love poem, not exactly just about the yin yang tug of war within/without, so I guess it has consistency in that regard if nothing else. Yet as I wrote, the partnering of the beloved and contrary Other seemed to seep in more and more, and which is mirror and which reflection, or if it's even possible to make that sort of distinction, became the push behind the words,as you so surely pick up on. Thanks for reading, and joining in this walk along the blue edge of things.

      Delete
  24. An ending that gives me a chuckle, Hedge!

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  25. The reflective rhymes work so very well here. Whether this is about two people, or two in one, there is a lot to explore, it's never-ending really, like halls of mirrors. The last stanza was a surprising twist, and it lifted this into a different place of questions than I was headed with what preceded. Very well crafted, Hedge.

    ReplyDelete

'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg