October 20, 2010

What is not but could be if


Elouise Schoettler, Mirror Mirror

The Trouble with Our State
-- by Father Daniel Berrigan

The trouble with our state
was not civil disobedience
which in any case was hesitant and rare

Civil disobedience was rare as kidney stone
No, rarer; it was disappearing like immigrants' disease

You've heard of a war on cancer?
There is no war like the plague of media
There is no war like routine
There is no war like 3 square meals
There is no war like a prevailing wind

It blows softly; whispers
don't rock the boat!
The sails obey, the ship of state rolls on
The trouble with out state
-- we learned it only afterward
when the dead resembled the living who resembled the dead
and civil virtue shone like paint on tin
and tin citizens and tin soldiers marched to the common whip

-- Our trouble
the trouble with our state
with our state of soul
our state of seige--
was
Civil
obedience.


Keeping Things Whole
-- by Mark Strand

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.


Homage
-- by Franz Wright

There are a few things I will miss,
a girl with no shirt on
lighting a cigarette

and brushing her hair in the mirror;
the sound of a mailbox
opening, somewhere,

and closing at two in the morning
of the first snow,
and the words for them.

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