Melancholy and Mystery of a Street
(after Georgio de Chirico)
She’s a shadow herself, though the hoop’s solid,
and, yes, out of the diminishing returns of arched doorways
she’s close behind. Beware tall encroaching citizens. Beware
the colonnade of sunlight. Beware tense isometric shapes
like the wagon with the deceptive inner space
which isn’t space at all but flat boxed lines you’d run into
at a walk even . Doesn’t she know her world
is about to crack along invisible seams; that it will drift
apart in incoherent pieces.?We knew. We saw how the buildings
behaved, defying the horizon.; windows, black, sheared-off.
We cannot blame the artist. This is no inability to master
the laws of perspective; ‘this non-sense’, he’d say, ‘is, in fact.
life’, looking for all the world like an egg with the likelihood of
allowing itself to be broken and spill , well, runny
yellow life over our fingers. We, the metaphysicians, would approve.