2 December 2003 | Vol. 3, No. 4
from Symphony No. 7
II. The Wandering Phantom
Across vast distances in space, one cat calls to another;
a bat swings round a lamppost like a satellite. I wander
through deserted streets, trying to recall a tune familiar
as my own name—it remains elusive as a smell. I waltz
along the path like an 18th-century Viennese ballroom,
in silk stockings and a powdered wig—there it is again.
I am lost in a neighborhood disconcertingly similar to
my own, where I start to walk faster, and turn a corner
into the grounds of a House, so grand it is almost as if
a—, the stone lions threaten to leap from their plinths.
The moon shivers. A car's horn honks. I have stepped
through a Symphony, onto the set of an Opera, and back
into the ballroom. The orchestra hurries on then stops,
striking up with a new (a tray drops), more stately dance.
And again. A cat walks along a fence-top—slips—leaps
to the ground. Like a ghost. It scrambles, falls: no hope.
About the author:
Paul Rowland graduated from the University of Warwick last year with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. He then went to Russia, where he taught English, worked for a newspaper, did some translation work for the Pushkin Museum, and helped train an all-male Russian theatre company perform Shakespeare in English. He is currently writing a novel, called Metro-3, based on his experiences of living in Moscow. The original short story can be found at the Absinthe Literary Review.
More poems from his sequences based on the symphonies of Gustav Mahler can be read at Stride Magazine.