a poem on thursday: the bridge

The Bridge by Russell Edson
In his travels he comes to a bridge made entirely of bones.
Before crossing he writes a letter to his mother: Dear mother,
guess what? the ape accidentally bit off one of his hands while
eating a banana. Just now I am at the foot of a bone bridge. I
shall be crossing it shortly. I don't know if I shall find hills and
valleys made of flesh on the other side, or simply constant
night, villages of sleep. The ape is scolding me for not teaching
him better. I am letting him wear my pith helmet for
consolation. The bridge looks like one of those skeletal
reconstructions of a huge dinosaur one sees in a museum. The
ape is looking at the stump of his wrist and scolding me again.
I offer him another banana and he gets very furious, as though
I'd insulted him. Tomorrow we cross the bridge. I'll write to
you from the other side if I can; if not, look for a sign . . .

I've started using Madeline Bea's Sunday Creative as a word prompt for a poem and digital mixed-media piece each week.  Seems as my thoughts are drifting on somewhat of a tangent lately, and the word is acting more like a springboard to another place than as a theme in itself.  

This week's word was connect; 'connect' means to unite, join or be associated.  Bridges connect.  And so I initially set about finding a poem about bridges and I stumbled across this curiosity.  Russell Edson is a contemporary American prose poet.  I'm drawn to his writing, it has a dream like quality that reels you in and yet there is something profoundly disturbing about it.  This poem makes me think of dreams and the line we sometimes walk between sleep and wake, psychosis and sanity, life and death.  And so to my mixed-media image.  A letter home, a tangled dream, a place where reality and dreams collide.


Travels of the Mind said...

Hi Dear
What a great letter you wrote to your mother.we like it.it is really appreciable writing.

Anonymous said...

Roads also connect - symbolic and real - in life, in art, in poetry:

"The Road Goes Ever On And On by J.R.R. Tolkein

Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the road is gone
And I must follow if I can
Persuing it with eager feet
Until it meets some larger way
Where many a path and errand meet
And wither then I cannot say."

And I love this new photo collage - it reminds me of the work of Liz Caffin, an Australian printmaker. You will remember her work at Crown Hill - some based in Italy - monotonal with elusive, dreamlike figures journeying through landscapes or architectural vistas or as dark shadows hiding in doorways and other destinations. SB

Dorian Susan said...

Oh Claire....
I love this collage photo. Am I calling it the right thing? I don't have any idea how one does this-but I love it. Might it be a photoshop application? There's just so much to learn.
The poem is rather strange and eerie....but kind of like a fantasy as well. I'm new to enjoying poetry so sometimes it takes awhile to sink in.
Looks like I left you a bit of a novel as well...I don't mind receiving them, hope you don't mind getting them.
Happy day to you.