(Untitled) Foreword to Janet Hamill's Nostalgia of the Infinite

[Nostalgia of the Infinite, Copyright © Janet Hamill 1992, Ocean View Books, BOX102650, Denver CO 80250.]

When time, blissfully awry, spreads milky arms across the black expanse, to sleep, of what does time dream. And, thus unraveled, of where does time long.

In the wake of such delicious oblivion who presides over the edges of our sleep and the parting star and the hour under glass.

The dustman, spent upon a cloud, comes no longer. Who will toss the grains to mask all sense and swing, as dew upon a string, the wide and wizened orb.

What hand will prepare the canvas for our sail and draw us on, as the ferryman, from the bound to the unbound.

The painter smiles. Thus commissioned he performs all the benevolent, unnatural acts required to expand the arena of the closed eye. He stirs the common with the mythic and renders the mystery of his mathematics on linen light as the waistcoat of a prince and as tightly woven.

The gallery of the eastern sky is dressed, wall to wall, in a vile, seductive drape. The violent arcade is pressed with the flexible statue aslant in a space thoroughly modern; grecian. A space so new, so ambiguous, that only a poet, such as Breton, dared entangle and entitle. And here, a future later, another poet, with precisian grace, beats back to re-echo a universe of eruptive silk.

This same poet I have known well. In callow years we shared much trouble, much laughter and lavished our girlhood love on the likes of Byron and Rimbaud. Often, when not having the price for a proper supper, we would dine on one another's work, concord in the desire to one day create, not without sacrifice, something fine.

Before the face of a new work, one salutes the muse, the arrow of the muse and the creative process. And in return, if the work resounds, one feels greeted as well. And so, upon reading, may you be moved in such a manner, that burning, you leap to your feet and presume a journey thru the blooming depths of an uncharted street.

Or, finding yourself pleasantly spent, turn to sleep, glimpsing well before you do the watermark upon the sail. It is but the scrawl and signature of the poet, who, in humble gown presumptive, crowned in bitter laurel has labored to redesign the birth and rebirth of a dream.

      Patti Smith

Copyright © Patti Smith 1992

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