this is probably for you…

4 10 2003

…if you’re someone i’ve ever loved, or thought about loving, or tried to–even the best have their mirror-hard moments. or someone i’ve been too close to, or not close enough. or someone who just really loves when someone else plays with words very

(Atwood, not me, pirated from a link on t’s link to the poetry-cache @ minstrels)

[2011 edit: on reflection (pun acknowledged, if not intended), this was probably mostly for Ty. i don’t know–i can’t recapture–what i saw in it then to make me think of closeness or connection, but by today’s light it looks a lot more like empty glass with no warmth on the other side. it was a melancholy era, though; who knows what passed for joy to me those days.]

‘Tricks with Mirrors’


It’s no coincidence
this is a used
furniture warehouse.

I enter with you
and become a mirror.

are the perfect lovers,

that’s it, carry me up the stairs
by the edges, don’t drop me,

that would be back luck,
throw me on the bed

reflecting side up,
fall into me,

it will be your own
mouth you hit, firm and glassy,

your own eyes you find you
are up against closed closed


There is more to a mirror
than you looking at

your full-length body
flawless but reversed,

there is more than this dead blue
oblong eye turned outwards to you.

Think about the frame.
The frame is carved, it is important,

it exists, it does not reflect you,
it does not recede and recede, it has limits

and reflections of its own.
There’s a nail in the back

to hang it with; there are several nails,
think about the nails,

pay attention to the nail
marks in the wood,

they are important too.


Don’t assume it is passive
or easy, this clarity

with which I give you yourself.
Consider what restraint it

takes: breath withheld, no anger
or joy disturbing the surface

of the ice.
You are suspended in me

beautiful and frozen, I
preserve you, in me you are safe.

It is not a trick either,
it is a craft:

mirrors are crafty.


I wanted to stop this,
this life flattened against the wall,

mute and devoid of colour,
built of pure light,

this life of vision only, split
and remote, a lucid impasse.

I confess: this is not a mirror,
it is a door

I am trapped behind.
I wanted you to see me here,

say the releasing word, whatever
that may be, open the wall.

Instead you stand in front of me
combing your hair.


You don’t like these metaphors.
All right:

Perhaps I am not a mirror.
Perhaps I am a pool.

Think about pools.

— Margaret Atwood




2 responses

5 10 2003

thank you….

6 10 2003

Fascinating, Beautiful and Pointed.
Spectacular–as ms. atwood always tends to be.
Thank you for Sharing that, Love. and Thank you for Being You.

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