Other Wind
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The Picture and the Mirror

Our friend George gave me his July 2003 issue of Poetry, and in it I found the following poem by Tom Disch. I love the lasts four lines especially. And the cobwebs.

The Picture and The Mirror
By Tom Disch

The mirror wished he were a picture on the wall
Forever the same face, the same unreflective smile
To have a name and an identity
Instead of this perpetual flux
One moment in mufti, the next undressed
And then nothing, an absence
That seemed to suck the air from the room
A hollowness without depth
Just ambient light and cobwebs
Swinging from the ceiling

The picture could have cared less
It was there where it always was
Nailed to the wall like some dumb crucifix
It had its name, its blocks
Of color interlocked with a logic
That had become incontrovertible
But what use is flesh that never feels
The press of a transient reality
Only its own ideal unaltered thick impasto
Who would not prefer to be quicksilver