April 13, 2013
A Motif

Chance and chance alone has a message for us.  Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute.

—Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being


After you moved to New York you called

To say read Kundera, and I did and found these two sentences

About chance. Now I can’t stop thinking

About that night last year –

We were running errands “out of necessity”

When we saw that house: no curtains and bare bulbs shining,

At least 20 lamps without shades.

I stopped the car and we both looked and wondered –

So many bright, naked lights

We couldn’t see through the glare.

Your profile was lit up.


This book we are both reading now

Says “While two people are fairly young

And the musical composition of their lives

Is still in its opening bars, they can go about writing it

Together, exchanging motifs. I closed the book this morning

And thought of a reason

For all of those bare lightbulbs.

I imagined an old man

Feeling his way towards one light

Then sending himself off towards another,

Unaware of us outside

Or of his nearly ordinary house

Become, for us, a constellation,

Lighting up our world

In a way so insignificant

I only mention it now because it lasts forever.


—Kirk Robinson  (Lake County)

Kirk Robinson lives in Munster, Indiana, with his wife and three children. Assistant Professor of English at Calumet College of St. Joseph, he received his MFA in poetry from the Ohio State University in 1998. His poems have appeared in RATTLE, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, and a number of other literary magazines.

Indiana Humanities is posting a poem a day from Indiana poets in celebration of National Poetry Month.

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