After a submersion writer’s conference weekend (in this case Desert Nights Rising Stars at ASU), I never know what bit of information will become part of my internal life. In this case, it was Daniel Bosch’s short lyric poetry book entitled Octaves bound in three sections that are separated by three spines. Remember those thin magic wooden pieces tied with ribbons that you flip one end and the entire thing reverses itself? This doesn’t reverse itself with clever ribbons, but reading it is accomplished in a variety of ways reminiscent of it.
Out of these lovely to touch and interesting to turn pages, several poems teased and pulled my muse out of hiding. One line haunts me. It is now four days later and this line never leaves my thoughts.
The past is present now. And now. And now.
That pinpoint of time he isolates like a stop motion photo from the stream of life. I love the ticking of the life clock with ‘…now. And now. And now.’ We are reminded that we are always on the precipice of the present and of the past. Both reside within us in the space of a second, the beating of a butterfly’s wings, or the blink of an eye. In the last line, I've not remembered exactly, he reverses it.
The present is past and is now. And now.
What draws my muse, however, is the continuance of the assumed:
And the future is the present now. And now. And now.
There is comfort in that present moment filled with breathless anticipation and also sweet memory of what has passed. My basic premise in life has been: “The future enters into us long before it arrives.” What comes to us on the rebus strip of life has been a part of us unrealized until the present reveals the past and the future connections. This says it in a far more memorable and haunting way.
Thank you, Daniel Bosch, for inspiring my muse.
I fear that I’ve not gotten his words perfectly. I left the work in my Arizona writing studio, never imagining that I would live with this particular line etched in my mind. I will correct when I’m back in there.