from the Melmoth Letters

A poem from an epistolary series I've  been working on for too long called "The Melmoth Letters." The letters are written by a character called Wanda; some are addressed to Melmoth and others to Immalee.

Note: Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin (1820) is widely considered the last of the Gothic novels. This sprawling series of stories within stories follows Melmoth who makes a bargain with the devil–his soul for 150 years of life. Ironically, he spends his life traveling the world trying to convince someone to trade places with him. Over the course of his story he is entangled with the Spanish Inquisition and meets and falls in love with Immalee, an isolated Indian princess who later in the book turns up in Spain, now named Isadora. Immalee/Isadora is in love with the stranger.

August 2009

Dear Melmoth–

In Solaris, the gaze is turned on the water grasses’ undulating stir. Were they ever real? Why the obsession with the real anyway. The woman who is the cosmonaut psychologist’s dead ex-wife is someone he loves more than when she was. even after he kills her his bad conscience. Then he turns, gives himself and mimesis crosses over. passion a seeping ink. Outside the vessel window the sea swells and churns. His father is at home in a house with rain water falling inside. The psychologist drops to his knees. attention is lavished on the Brueghel paintings. people in snow. a medieval village scene. On the one hand, I wept. On the other, it is 1974 and the breeches are tight on the psychologist and from this vantage point, I can appreciate. Tarkovsky sends Kubrik a long film, his version of the letter. Dave and space were never so corporeal. Which returns us to the embedded. Being embedded. Abetted real. reportage. Embed the reported. a film body unwinds.

In another painting inside on screen in the film, near the ships and cliff, in the corner foreground, Breughel gives us Icarus fallen into sea.

–xo Wanda

See a trailer for Solaris here.

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