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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Nabokov on a Yellow Post-It ©.

I found a square of paper
A golden-yellow Rhombus
The sticky quadrilateral
The blank parallelogram
Calling to be filled. A Post-It
Like a bright-yellow net for
The stray thought that flutters by
The ink-blue butterfly trapped
Between right angels

Nabokov loved butterflies
Perhaps more than he did words
He spilled more ink recording
The subtle variegations
The micro-changes in coloration
Of a butterfly’s wings, denoting
Their migration, than composing
Prose, and fictions

When I was a boy I was told not
To touch a butterfly, a slight touch
Would brush the “magic” powder
From their wings, without which
They could not fly
A butterfly is pixie-like; floating, flying
Gravity defying

With a sprinkle of pixie dust (and a laugh)
The heroine Wendy took flight
Going to war with a pirate
Whose only fear was time
Old Hook panicked at the tick-tock
Turning of the hands of a clock
Wendy flew and she fought
For the pipe-playing-boy-god (she loved)
Laughing, and soaring with a Titan named Pan

All butterflies bear the image of Pan
The horned God dancing in the wind
Pan is the God of wild places
God of loneliness, madness, and desire

All boys are taught to temper those traits
Or they get lost in their inner child

Nabokov loved butterflies, the chrysalis
Loved beauty emerging from
The metamorphosis of a worm
He loved the tragedian, the anti-hero
He loved the tragedy itself
A destroyer of tyrants, of self
Give him the subversion
Of aged-corruption, and the morass
Of a wild youth, caught in his pages
The fragile nature of longing, like
The butterfly, once acquired
Lives but a few moments
And then expires

Given at the Troubadour 2016.11.07


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