Friday 20 May 2016

Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red (Vintage, 1999), second selection

Up on the overpass
the night was wide open
and blowing headlights like a sea. He stood against the wind and let it peel him

from "XVII. Walls"

...a night suddenly gone solid.

from "XVIII. She"

caught her other arm, it was like a handful of autumn.

from "XX. AA"

Each morning a shock
to return to the cut soul.


Outside the natural world was enjoying
a moment of total strength. Wind rushed over the ground like a sea and battered up
into the corners of the buildings,
garbage cans went dashing down the alley after their souls.

from "XXIII. Water"

Geryon's life entered a numb time, caught between the tongue and the taste.


whole body formed one arch of a cry--upcast to that custom, the human custom
of wrong love.

from "XXIV. Freedom"

As the aeroplane moved over the frozen white flatland of the clouds Geryon left
his life behind like a weak season.


Geryon closed his eyes and listened to engines vibrating deep in the moon-splashed
canals of his brain.


Outside a bitten moon rode fast over a tableland of snow.

from "XXVI. Aeroplane"

A cold spray
of fear shot across his lungs. 


Four of the roses were on fire.
They stood up straight and pure on the stalk, gripping the dark like prophets
and howling colossal intimacies
from the back of their fused throats.


He moved off into the tragicomedy of the crowd.

from "XXVI. Mitwelt"

Pulling his body after him
like a soggy mattress Geryon trudged on uphill.

from "XXVIII. Skepticism"

Sunset begins early in winter, a bluntness at the edge of the light.


Geryon paused in his listening and saw the slopes of time spin backwards and stop.


It was the hour when the snow goes blue
and streetlights come on and a hare may
pause on the tree line as still as a word in a book.


His eye traveled to the clock at the front of the room and he fell into the pool
of his favorite question.

from "XXIX. Slopes"

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