Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Blogoview, take 3

Blogoview, take 3.

"What is your favorite poem of your own?" is the question, today given second life by Jeff Bahr. So hell, here's mine. I wish I could write like this all the time. But I'm still surprised anyone else can make sense of it.

The Smell of Warm Grass, and Shakespeare’s Majestic Silence

are the open last October day
of warmth arisens which we cannot but
mistake for spring. Think April; think Perdita

blushing, proof that art is what we are
most when most ourselves—I don’t mean art
like lying whispered out ears, making up

what those ears hear like dolls of eden-stuff
we foul out of each breath for our shame
as her father did, lost to himself—

but listen to her words, how she becomes
what she perceives, and how her lover, listening
with his tongue for her, savors a satiety

which satisfies itself. If ears can hear,
if ears are what I think they are—empty
bubbles filmed with light rising through empty

me—if perception lives, a low-branched sparrow
too simple to confuse October, April,
too simple to forget to not sing, and I

film with this smell of green the risen silence,
pretend it is spring again without the must-
be-death-hard interlude, the awful white

passed through, box of dust and radiators,
kleenex, hacked bedroom lonely as a crypt,
Perdita, gentle bird, come remind me,

back-silver your silence, let me smell the Earth
settling with a bellyful of sun,
let me know myself why I grow vocal

in this down-light crusting March-frost-deep
a crow’s back as if on and in were equal;
presager memory, gone and not gone, I want more

and less than that man who, it seems, when
he felt the last balm-day, the second spring
arrive as I now, knew, as you, sparrow, know,

to stop singing and, thus emptied, to perceive.

(originally published in Antioch Review)

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