Första sidan
  Nummer 3 - 18 september 2000


This House

Av Paul Schreiber


In this room I paint over
the trim and face
of another's satisfaction,
of the dreamed coming to be,
the achievement of a room,
a kitchen, a home's warm heart,
a place to sit at ease and be,
itself redone of another and perhaps another,
the generations of dreamed rooms
not retreating into the distance
through framed doorways
but here still
retreating into themselves beneath
layers of paint and paper

Whoo, whooo, whooo
hoots the chimney-pipe
when the wind blows hard off the Baltic,
picking up, like wavering radio signals,
the last voice of the Estonia,
whooo, whoooo, who,
as I saw, chisel, glue, plaster and paint
into this time and this space.

I would not drive them out,
exorcise them,
though I shall press mine in,
for their ghosts do not dwell in rooms
but in the dreams of rooms
and what they could be,
the effort of making.

This house
chained to the earth by weight,
stone, timber, cable, paint, porcelain, pipe
weighing heavier than long-held dreams
heavier than fear
rock and wood and metal leaning together
so alien to me, so heavy and there,
now weighing on my hopes
against the air
freedom and flight.

But this is an old house,
and these are old walls;
its weight has all been borne
by the hands of its dreamers,
even stone upon stone
rafter over joist raised high,
and chimney brick
against the sky where my eye
seeks flight.

The name that hung by the door
embossed on a ship
that sank,
now gone.
How can I hang my name here?
where my hands have not lifted up stone
and joist and rafter? how?
except I paint, do my little job,
except I eat of the fruit of these trees
planted long before the dream of ships,
grafted and pruned,
until I am grafted here, pruned
of dreams of flight
until this house hangs its name on me?


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