Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friends Old and New

I'm a piano-hack, at best, but I do especially enjoy playing the rich chords in ballads from the 30s, 40s, and early 50s--and in some Simon & Garfunkel songs (well, they are actually Simon songs), including "Old Friends." I just thought I'd mention that as a more or less irrelevant introduction to a poem.

Friends Old, Friends New

It is difficult to discuss old friends
with new ones, new ones with old ones. You feel
as if they're characters from novels whose
pages cannot be inter-collated. You didn't
write these novels. You're of them, too, but
in them both, and you may travel from each
to each. You realize you're the only go-between,
the one who knows both stories, knows who
did why to what so whereily and how with whom
it may well have concerned. As always, you seem

to be the point at which your life converges--
well, duh. But yet you yearn legitimately for
variation, for someone else to unify the narratives
of you, of yours. Maybe a new friend could befriend
an old one and then collaborate to help explain
you to you and them to them.

Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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