Chelsea View by Josette Urso
"Chelsea View" by Josette Urso
Epilogue: The Rest Home

"We should be dazed and terror-struck,
If we but saw in dreams that room,
Those wine drenched eyes, and curse our luck
That emptied all our days to come."
W.B. Yeats

The house is quiet,
And the color of the rooms comes back,
its pieces and its heaviness,
The emptiness of air.

Without a trace, or a disturbance
The unset stage is waiting
For the sleeper to awake
And walk her day.

She has come here for the
Moment to be comforted,
Receive the pleasure of a soft
Boredom; a bedroom, a hall.

Where nothing pleases nothing
Comes to mind,
And meter is a march
From room to room

Dull harmonies in padded footfalls
Weave the carpet in her
Balding paths
Recrossed, and crossed again.

What voice that must
Refuse, remains?

She counts against the day
And wonders, "how did I arrive
in this house?"

"How is the desert here
Without promise or power?"
The joy
Within the clock's gears,
The mechanism, is only

There is no more crying, or of fire,
The rhythm of her anger is done
And now she will not understand,
And now she will refuse
To understand.

To tell of what?
Hot rocks and lizards,
A salesman who prefers
Brown for selling suits
("Research proves...").

The pictures she has seen
Do not make one reason.

Come back, the bugs are on the red sand,
The anthills and holes in this
Crawling on the cactus and
The bleached bones of passengers
At bus stops.

She remembers this, a token
Song for imagists,
And movies too,
And pictures of the dead
And pictures of the dead
And dying, and restaurants
"The Velvet Turtle" etc.
Where she can only wonder
How a knife feels,
And she can only keep wondering
About the pictures,
And how a picture feels.

Where is the war in these empty rooms?
What fruit of hope, believing love
Enough to know?

What pain has been endured
Must call her back to pain.
Where is the music for this?
Where understanding ends.
And endless
Tries to understand.

Marc Penka 2002

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