September 15, 2004

Once I thought I saw you in a crowded hazy bar

Three poems by Deena Linett:

Eventually They Come Ashore

the living and the dead
whether you wait for them or not
There are so many more
of the dead, and the living
drown on stony ground in grief
and anger, and the sea
does not care. We care
for it so deeply, need it
so we cannot comprehend
its treachery. We think
it must be part of Mind
and would not so mistreat us

but it closes its blue eyes,
a shunning, so defeats us.

Atlantic Beach

Dawn has come and gone but it is so early
that when I turn to see where I've come from
and where I will be going, it's still dark. I stroll
the narrow span between two great unknowns
toward where the sun unrolls
angled brilliants from her bolt of gold
and stop to watch gulls flitter above spitting foam
and sea, the thunder of its many tones
the music of the sphere we occupy. They hover
over swells like time stopped, or the heart,
then dive. Like boys who stand apart
from damages they do, they skim
the moving fields of blue as if killing were an art
and purpose and its deadly aim a part of joy.

Men Kneel

Like the unconscious and like art, beyond volition
and only partly human, what goes on
between men and women happens in the dark, feral,
without will. In gratitude or grief, at prayer,
before a bookcase seeking manuscripts or maps,
a man on his knees is entirely memorable.

Between my legs. Then humility opens in me
like a meadow, vase and blowy. Silky streaks
of limb, raw rutty bottoms: textures move us
to articulated knowing, acts pure, material,
blood fast and bright, arterial, that wild
indifferent sweetness when arousal takes us.

* And an excellent photo montage from Karl Lintvedt.

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