“THEORIES OF TIME AND SPACE”
You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.
Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:
head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off
another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion – dead end
at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches
in a sky threatening rain. Cross over
the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand
what you must carry – tome of memory
its random blank pages. On the dock
the photograph – who you were –
will be waiting when you return
Visual Elements from “Theories of Time and Space”
The pier of Gulfport lined with shrimp boats located near Biloxi, Mississippi.
This is a photograph taken on Ship Island. The fort at Massachusetts can be seen in the background. Ship Island was used as a prison for Confederate soldiers and served as a training area for black combat units during the Civil War.
There are 2 lines per stanza. There are ten total stanzas and twenty lines. There are no repeating patterns in the poem.
We tell the story every year-
how we peered from the windows, shades drawn–
though nothing really happened,
the charred grass now green again.
We peered from the windows, shades drawn,
the charred grass still green. Then
we darkened our rooms, lit the hurricane lamps.
At the cross trussed like a Christmas tree,
a few men gathered, white as angels in their gowns.
We darkened our rooms and lit the hurricane lamps,
the wicks trembled all night in their fonts of oil.
It seemed the angels had gathered, white men in their gowns.
When they were done, the left quietly. No one came.
The wicks trembled all night in their fonts of oil;
by morning the flames had all dimmed.
When they were done, the men left quietly. No one came.
Nothing really happened.
By morning all the flames had dimmed.
We tell the story every year.
Number of stanzas and lines: 5 stanzas with 4 lines
Repetition: The poem is a Pantoum. The 2nd line always goes with the first line. Last line always goes with the third. (2-1, 4-3, 1- last)