Within the ascending abstraction—a green hill gently rising into the early-evening sky, like the uppermost plain in a Rothko given animation—a heat, alive and moving, seeks its own meaning. The eye is faulty and miraculous, failing to comprehend the fleeting bolt of life. Silence singes the air with metaphysical portents. Tropes soon appear. Abyssal spots of time arrive to quell the tide of the incoming present moment, and we observe it all as if watching an island slowly disappearing in the wake of a ship. It would be easier to name the color of these peonies than to name the wake’s origin/destination. As such, I have become the villain in my own poem; this may be the only time the poem allows me an “I.” The inside of one’s skull is wreathed with doubt. The poem might be a signal from somewhere else. The heat shifts and scuds against the viridescent canvas as it sails into something like the actuality of our own lives. We were there because the dirt on our boots tells us we were there. Even the muddiest of abstractions remains transparent. The poem continues to clarify the shade of green needed to finish the process of bringing the hill into creation, a process that will remain incomplete. We wander like homeless iambs looking for the proper lines in which to be domiciled.
[George Fragopolous, from “Manfred in New York”]