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Monday, November 11, 2019

Nabokov on a Yellow Post-It ©

I found a square of paper, a sticky quadrilateral, I found it
A blank parallelogram, a golden-yellow rhombus, I found
The empty plane of a Post-it note, waiting to be filled  
I found a square of paper, discarded in the trash, I saw
Its tightly woven mesh, a golden-yellow net, and then
I found a thought, it fluttered by, these inky-blue letters
The inspiration of a butterfly, trapped between right angels

I thought of Nobokov, a man in love with butterflies
More so than he was with prose, he spilled more ink to record
The subtle variegations, the micro-changes in coloration
Of a butterfly’s wings, denoting their migrations
Than he ever did composing his tomes of poetry and fictions

I remember as a boy, I was told to be careful with butterflies
I was instructed that the barest touch, would brush the “magic”
Dust from their wings, without which they could not fly

A butterfly is pixie-like; floating, flying, gravity defying
Barrie wrote, that with a sprinkle of pixie dust (and a laugh)
The heroine Wendy took flight, she went to war with a pirate
Whose only fear was time, the thing old Hook panicked by
The tick-tock turn of the hands of a clock, Wendy flew
She fought, for the pipe-playing-boy-god (who she loved)
She laughed and went soaring with a Titan named Pan
Carried wingless into the heavens on clouds of pixie-dust

All butterflies bear his image, the face of the horned God
Dancing in the wind, goat-footed Pan the God of wild places
Timeless Pan, God of loneliness and madness, the God of shock
Of feral desire, traits all boys are taught to temper, or become    
Lost in the haunts of the inner child, untamed and wild

Nabokov loved butterflies, the chrysalis, he loved beauty
To witness it emerging in the metamorphosis of a worm
He loved the tragedian, the anti-hero, and the tragedy itself
The destruction of tyrants…of self, he basked in the subversion
Of old age and corruption, in the morass of a wild youth
And its lament, he caught in his pages, like a poem on a Post-It
The fragile nature of longing, as delicate as the netted butterfly
That once acquired, lives but a few moments until it expires

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