Search This Blog

Thursday, November 27, 2014


To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
—Allen Ginsberg, WD


Raised Voice               Katie Ford

I had no craving. I heard sirens at night.
No craving, and a moon through the blinded window.
I listened to hymns and asked so much of them they quieted
like a body that withers when it feels itself
clung to. I was taught the body is deceptive.
The heart, deceptive.

Get out of me but stay with me, the city cried.
I had been looking up at the awnings with names,
trying to find a place for us. I am uncertain now,
but there was no moon. Shop lights on and off then off
for good. When Thomas asked to see the extent
of the wounded body, evidence
was consecrated as a holy request.
Evidence being that which screams its moment—
one need not even look.


One Dispensation    Elizabeth Whittlesey

Night has embalmed the trees in water turned
To ice. There could be sparrows hiding, where,
However, no flesh seems to know, the only
Aim the living sustain today is movement
Along the snow, to keep the motion steady.
Again, in the case of winter versus city,
Winter has beaten city, but with brutal
Softness, so that city lays herself down,
Though in a faux submission. She will play
The part this whiteness asks; they play this part
Together as they scan their muted pageant,
A blustery monument to themselves, (saying):
See how the slim bare branches bear the thickness
That afflicts them. See how the human tries
To navigate a scene where all distinction
Has been taken. See the shovel, hear how
It scrapes across the pavement in a rite
Of defiance. See them sow salt on paths,
Purged of the usual murmur of their thoughts
And voices. See they only seem to note
Their steps now, one after the other. See what
Happiness we have smothered on this city.


To Be Continued: A Parable                Samuel Hazo

It's like a play.
                     Or rather
   the revival of a play in which
   you're still the main character.
The set, the lighting and the stage
   are what they were, but not
   the cast.
                Different actors
   have the roles that other actors
   acted when the play first
         You make comparisons
   but then accept the differences
   as given.
                 Somehow you only feel
   secure in character but alien
   to all the others on the stage.
Their names will keep on changing
   as the run resumes with younger
   people in older roles.
                                 The script
   will stay the same.
                              You know
   your lines by heart but try
   to say them in a different voice
   each night.
                  The other actors
   say your character and you
   are one.
               Sometimes this seems
   a sentence, sometimes a challenge.
Either way you keep on playing
   your part.
                 You have no choice. 


Rhyme                           Robert Pinsky

Air an instrument of the tongue,
The tongue an instrument
Of the body, the body
An instrument of spirit,
The spirit a being of the air.

A bird the medium of its song.
A song a world, a containment
Like a hotel room, ready
For us guests who inherit
Our compartment of time there.

In the Cornell box, among
Ephemera as its element,
The preserved bird—a study
In spontaneous elegy, the parrot
Art, mortal in its cornered sphere.

The room a stanza rung
In a laddered filament
Clambered by all the unsteady
Chambered voices that share it,
Each reciting I too was here

In a room, a rhyme, a song.
In the box, in books: each element
An instrument, the body
Still straining to parrot
The spirit, a being of air.


No comments: