for Andrew Thomas Phillips

Artificial lucidity stares back
from the future accomplished. 

Having engineered a hole 
in xeroxed black and white
we peer through just like a window 
pressed between the leaves of a book.

A marker used to keep track 
of our progress and saved 
to escape through once 
the story is done.  

The tome put away on a shelf in a room 
of the basement of a house on the moon.

(A crease in the paper across the bridge 
of the nose underlines the left eye out in 
the dark half of a hypnotic magician's
divided face folded back into the heart) 

You are sorely missed, and the feeling 
we will never meet again intensifies 
because we achieved our past 
set in concrete, and memory 
remains the only portal to  
the future we'll ever know.

SL/C 9/10/15--Five days ago,
you would've been forty-five.
I've found you after all these years.  

1 comment:

shaun said...

I hate to have to refer to our great old friend Andrew with the descriptive "dead friend," and tagging on the "bookmark" seems almost like adding injury to insult, doesn't it kinda? I decided to stick with the blunt title, because it helps me to capture the complicated mixed feelings of both missing our dear good friend when he was still alive, as well as acknowledging that honest feeling of anger towards him we all must carry with us that he chose to opt out of this experience we all seemed to have made an unspoken pact together to brave our way through to the bitter or wonderful end, so long as we had each other to help ourselves along the strange and twisted way. Besides, that black and white xeroxed photo of him from his memorial service remains today as an actual bookmark I recently discovered wedged between the pages of an old tome. Finding it prompted me to write this poem. I suppose it's an attempt to express the inexpressible. It has to do with a golden electroplated thread which wound through our lives, my brother Tim and our relationship with Andrew relied heavily on our obsessions with philosophical matters and the big questions in life. As those who knew Andrew well are quite aware, he loved the book Godel, Escher, Bach; and he was a brilliant shining star when it came to mathematics and scientific reasoning. Hence the first two opening lines are meant to reflect how far I've made it further down that golden thread of speculation. The rest of the poem morphs into a sort of blended reminiscence and homage to not just having lost our beautiful, haunted friend, but also for he having chosen to throw away this golden opportunity to continue solving the case with us, as it were, of the greatest mystery we will ever face, our very existence. I wrote the poem as a bookmark itself to capture the drift of my thoughts. We miss you very much Andrew. Perhaps if we're never to reacquaint ourselves with each other again, at least we might hope that within our endlessly repeating incarnations our memories of each other will continue to persevere. That is why there's really only one thing I can say to you here on this cold November day a decade in the wake of your departure. I will never forget you Andrew Thomas Phillips.