Monday, January 10, 2011

Close-ups are impossible to swallow,
the details anatomical, subtext comical, some
cheap trick of a zoom button. Instead
let’s praise the big and fundamental: a wedge of soap,
a stone for the soup wilting away in the still-warm tub.
In place of a whistled pop song (long gone
from all but the worst mall music stores) a traveler’s song
strung like stockings in chalk wind. Winter is a promise
to bear the clouds away on horseback. Oh,
these are good days. Praise to the grass, coiled quick
in its blades is the blaze of becoming fat. Praise
to the baby bones of the palm frond, and praise to ink
watered down to brown, praise to a bay
and to the deeper ones I haven’t seen. Oh, in these wild moments
it is good to be a body and know that body is your own—
there’s opera in a footstep, lungs are concertinas
and though songs bend at the highest note
oh, it is still good to know. My hair
is of my mother, my nose of my father, wit
handed down from a peasant, a curse
the cadence of which was lost years ago.
This new poem is a fistful of rope.
I know my own body as my forebears
knew the cold. Just now the water from the tap
sang across my knuckles like a bell, like vespers,
and each bird that whips along in the wind
offers the song of months. And praise, let’s praise
the blood of the new sun, warming our clothes
and the bay and the traveler and his horse.

Saturday, January 1, 2011