January 6, 2009

Begin with May

by Jill Darling
Finishing Line Press, 2008

“[T]he moment gathers speed,” then “rests.” Which is to say, these moments have movement, at times, similar to a continuum, which according to the New Oxford American is "a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other.” There's a feeling of imperceptible difference when examining a blade of grass, its color, and its movement: “to consider a green blade”; “even seemingly before green and its dispersion”; “the way plants lean or the grasses curl.”

Darling considers color as it scatters through the seasons and as the seasons evoke a spectrum of meaning:

“i can tell you this you are what you make
of your own words and actions

we are the continuum of space and language

moving to the left to the right and
how each vowel sound is accumulated.”

This chapbook begins in May, in springtime, with "a total sitting still" and ends with an "instant of lingering." The space between these two is a kind of transition on the continuum of language—because stillness lacks movement, and lingering implies that which came before or will come after or will come again. And if that lingering is winter, “another month December,” and we “lose sight [in] the dark,” we find comfort in knowing that it’s just “a fraction of a moment” in the “accumulation of colors.”

These seasons/these series of moments linger, then disperse like light to become a “favorite structured time.”