Linda Does My Horoscope

     for Linda Wing

Alan Williamson

     Poets... think about fate often if not obsessively."

Charles Baxter
"Let's not talk about my life, but the Vikings won.
It s a big deal here. In fact, I timed our call
"For after the game?" "And after the phone calls.
I ve never seen a chart with so many retros."
(Retrograde planets, that from earth's perspective
seem to stop in their tracks then move backwards.
"Retros...mean challenges. They can be opportunities.
You don't get things done the way people think they should be."

Of course, we're not quite sure this chart is right,
if it was War Time--" Permanent Daylight Savings,
part of Prehistory, like transport planes
slowly thrumming over... I didn't ask my mother,
I was too embarrassed; besides, I have the feeling
I did once, and the answer was confusing.
"My hunch, knowing you, is that it is."
Explanations: intercepted sign, trine, ascendant...
The afternoon lengthens, cloudy in both cities,
both alone in our houses... I have--
I've had it many times--an odd
clairvoyance of my birth-hour, winter, cloudy, darkening—
not in the hospital, but the streets around it--
and a special hush, like... I m afraid, like Christmas...

It s an Aquarian s nature to be hopeful.
An air-sign: gets places by flying. Genius, truth-sayer,
exile. Your Sun and Moon are close--
Sun's your core essence, Moon your emotional needs—
that's good, they like each other. But, Moon in Capricorn--"

"Not great?"
          "No-o. "Watch out, they want blood,
this commentator says, but she's an Aries,
they don't trust earth-signs. My mother's a Moon in Capricorn,
it's not all bad. Let's see what someone else says.
"Black-dog depressions." "Yes." "Deep need for love,
but guarded, paranoid. Not afraid of work."
Yes, yes. The years in Arlington, nothing published,
bleakness like anti-matter, and wifely silence
palpable, past the study door...
"Capricorn moons accomplish even if slowly.
It's a sea-goat, can go anywhere--swim, climb mountains...
They re tougher than they look, and do not lose."

In the seventh house, all this has to do with marriage.
You like weird people--Aquarians do--
but nothing works without the intellectual connection.
Most of all you need a mate--though, lacking that,
a best friend will do. You'll spoil people with attention,
charming, but frightening in your dependence..."
B. Three weeks, no letter. N.
"Men with Moon in seven devastate women,
they're smart, and soft, and listen, listen, listen.
Placid appearance, inside hysterical--
heart on springs, reacting to how she reacts..."
Indeed, indeed.

          "Now we come to planets.
Neptune's in Libra, but retro. Your mystical side
develops late, but will help your writing."
Sitting zazen on the stone at MacDowell, forty-three...
"Venus in Sagittarius, which she doesn't like,
another hint that love's going to be trouble--
freedom and commitment... Nothing at all
in the ninth house, and there should be. It
has to do with ultimate reputation.
So maybe this isn't the right chart? Or...a blank.

Eleventh house. Gemini. "This is the big one,
ready? You ve got a stellium here—
three of your big planets, two of them retro,
two asteroids. Mars and Uranus
are closer still, a conjunction." (The Christmas Star?)
"Mars is your boy-planet, drive, combativeness, sparkle,
it's happy in Gemini, and likes Aquarians.
But Saturn, Uranus..." They come, the anti-matter,
black-hole gravity, majestic, walking backwards,
that sucked years eerily
in, back, or down... "Shyness, inhibition."
Non-tenure, non-publication, hinterlands...
"Uranus--well, he s called the rude awakener."
Yes, yes. That sense of meant to be
that in hindsight,anyway, reconciles mortals
to almost anything.
           "Pallas near Mars
is auspicious, though--she likes war.
Here's where your Capricorn persistence comes in,
your Aquarian power to grow by leaps.
Trines, too, indicate a happy outcome."

"Trines are good, squares are bad?" "Don't say I'm all squares."

More explanations. I scribble restlessly.
Two hours, my phone bill, on astrology!
And yet... I half-see them, Pallas and Mars,
swords drawn, like Walsungs, among the heavy atoms
that want blood...
          My mother
once said, you smiled so much, as a little boy.
For a moment, my two understandings--
the charmed life, the afflicted life--
come closer than they ever have, a stellium.
"Thank you, Linda--you've taken such trouble". "You're welcome.
Leos, like me, are lucky for you, but nuts.
Everything in opposition teaches."

It must be almost dark, where you are, already,
like that blessed hour... "Time for soup.
I hope I haven't scared you. With those planets,
you wouldn't be alive still if you hadn't
somehow learned from it, and gotten through."

Copyright ©1998 Alan Williamson. All rights reserved.

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