November 30, 2011

Perhaps I am a small soul but I burn brightly
I am the light of this world
Just as long as I'm in this world
A small soul perhaps but I burn brightly
And I gutter on all your things like a wave

Iain Baxter&, Television Works, 1999

-- by Robert Lowell

Those bless├Ęd structures, plot and rhyme--
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter's vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.

But sometimes everything I write
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All's misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun's illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.

Humming This Song Trying to Remember the Way Another One Goes
-- by Frank Stanford

For a moment the hour is two mad doves
For the rest of your life
Your blood is a sketch
I have drawn from memory
Like a missing deck of cards
Under the bed's ditch
A gardenia turning brown when you touch it
Or a stone
Sinking in the low pond's mud
It all seems
To swarm obediently
As a fugue
I am going to dream
I hear the sleep of figs and bulls
Pollinating the next second
Like a scar with no wound
There is a lightning before death
Without thunder and melody
A taproot disheveled as a shadow
And the boats remain
Waiting to be launched
A dead reckoning of birds
Flying at ninety degrees
Like lost gloves
The bodies forbear
The bodies
Burning the pillows of the sick
That have written the last lines of songs
Sores down on their knees
Begging to be marooned
The horsefly's legs the lady's cameo
A close brush with the ancients
The other one
Went like this
Night and her moon
Like a widow with child
The wood of a wild cherry will kill you
And the barefoot gypsy slicing her melon
Will kiss the ground you walk on
The rest of your life


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