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[possibly, probability]

                                                            From Daniel Anizon's "Russia, Voyages"

III. Monument [Norilsk, 1995]

Which paints a soldier
          whose experience
                    was unfathomable

fatigue of frozenness
          an internal light
                    where alone

along the road
          full with
                    cloud refracted mist

covers a
          rise distance
                    the meaning of which

building or
          mountain
                    matches itself alone.

V. Puddle [Riga, 1993]

Another time
it was something

a bit of burrow
not a turn from the wildness

but a form
of escape.

VII. [Transiberian, 1993]

Darkness reads as
fear from possibility.
Resistance makes it so.
                                          ::
A spectacle of power ::     ::
& culpability, a long
arm checking out

breath strokes
or if indeed there be
breath at all, misty

upon this half-
closed surface, a window
teased by shade. Wind

or simply landscape
the margin -- what only
seen and what,

merely.

IX. Glance [Mourmansk, 1994]

A still life
on a platform which moves
is seen two ways and
a third—walking
alongside. Rare after
consideration. In
these times. And which
times are those?

XI. Asylum [Astrakhan, 1994]


Shall I turn with you there, behind the double of centuries and methods of travel. Belied by the seamless continuity of sameness—toiling the view—the objective and imagined image projected, not onto film. Quite possibly the rediscoverable you, culpable, required to reconsider your errors, though truly, they hardly affected anyone but you.

XII. Dusk [Norilsk, 1995]


The others have gone on enticed, no, entreated by a whitewash, a building, entering here <--><-->, leaves you and our considerations behind. It has enabled them to forget the culpability they felt detached from, to begin with. They come this time better dressed, well, maybe not better, but more of them is covered. Evoking from the spectators a feeling of what’s appropriate, though no one has clearly stated, at least not here, what isn’t. For their sake we can say we agree on its usefulness, wearing what makes sense in any weather at each hour, like those creatures, who even in the straightest of circumstances, conduct their business efficiently. A veritable map of productivity. It is good of them to find you, to surprise you by coming close, taking their time staring at you before they turn their heads awry to the next thing that sounds like movement or threat.

XIII. Shelter [Mourmansk, 1994]


It can be drawn, the lines between you and the creature and the next possibility, your exclusion -- which too, is a point on the outline of what turns out to be a lovely little frame. The lines suggest continuance, not infinity . . . , though the moment will infinitely repeat. Endowed with ideas. Of shelter, and the promise, of walking away from it all. To where? For them and us too, exile means death, at least the constant vibration of teeth chattering (with which it it difficult to get anything accomplished, or to relax enough to go to the bathroom).

XV. Vignette [Mourmansk, 1994]


Better not to hold your breath—the position could be and probably is, a permanent one, at least in the way you replicate it adeptly in almost every circumstance into which you are placed and the ones into which you place yourself, the difference is that of standing or walking, not destination. Maimed or not, your luggage will greet you at the baggage claim, that semaphore of times.

XVII. Commerce [Mourmansk, 1994]


It’s hard to say if the hardship justifies anything but itself—the iconography is indelible and I carry it with me, each day like a child with her dolls, taking them out and spreading them over the braided rug. Then placing them back into the marked containers, each time my errors differ just enough to place you in a continual position of doubt. I’d go so far as to say, mistrust—see how far behind me you walk or how much in front when darkness overwhelms you and you no longer remember what it was I actually said....

XIX. Mirror [Mourmansk, 1994]


That the houses emit a warm yellow glow. The possibility of storm both obscures the one light and offers back another. There are different forms, at least two, you could argue a third, the one not so enclosed, more like a spiral, suggesting something endless, not infinite repetition, but infinity.


XXI. Vapor [Djerzinsk, 1994]


On another scale the light is more significant as when you dream and become minute then tremendous—both true because it is you who are dreaming. You haven’t come up with any images to describe this thing and, as when, unexpected, you see a giant serpent across the road or a shark with big teeth in the eddy, no one will believe you when you tell them—you haven’t got a witness.

XXIII. Florette [St. Petersburg, 1993]


But alas, there is proof! Your mother was there and remembers it too and mothers don’t lie, or if they do they at least bear enough weight to convince the court to give you a moment on the stand, which you take for the mike. The magnification permits you to encourage your best features and assert, erect and singular, sizzling, momentarily, thanks to this trick, or treat.

XXV. Couple [Norilsk, 1995]


Forget abstract meaning, those conflicts between the warm inside and the outside, vast but most often frozen. Settle into condensation—clumsiness, and clutter, a botanical cohesion of light structures, the intimacies kept or recreated in what seems no time at all. There are those occasional moments when we find ourselves in so much space yet rubbing shoulders, side by side despite our personal, and—for the weather—appropriate warmth. We won’t look back so cannot fully forge the valley behind us nor, as it indicates tangentially, the rise ahead.