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For Donald Justice
The low velocity of the limbs
in pain, as they do hurtle
nevertheless their hurtling
is not faster than the eye
which, looking hard,
should there be no wind
is itself unable
sometimes to discern
movement, which means,
perhaps, that it is the awed eye
which in this case is comatose,
still, moving
with a rapidity which of course
kills, although
it may be, not for a good while;
as in a travelogue,
in the junctures between musics
there falls
a considerable period of time
to be occupied by my voice,
as in a newsreel,
after the shot and before
the music resumes,
a limited time for
conversation, questions, or
familiar supposition,
barely yet curiously ample
time for your dread report.
/1
/2
Infidelity
The two-toned Olds swinging sideways out of
the drive, the bone-white gravel kicked up in
a shot, my mother in the deathseat half
out the door, the door half shut--she's being
pushed or wants to jump, I don't remember.
The Olds is two kinds of green, hand-painted,
and blows black smoke like a coal-oil fire. I'm
stunned and feel a wind, like a machine, pass
through me, through my heart and mouth; I'm standing
in a field not fifty feet away, the
wheel of the wind closing the distance.
Then suddenly the car stops and my mother
falls with nothing, nothing to break the fall . . .
One of those moments we give too much to,
like the moment of acknowledgment of
betrayal, when the one who's faithless has
nothing more to say and the silence is
terrifying since you must choose between
one or the other emptiness. I know
my mother's face was covered black with blood
and that when she rose she too said nothing.
Language is a darkness pulled out of us.
But I screamed that day she was almost killed,
whether I wept or ran or threw a stone,
or stood stone-still, choosing at last between
parents, one of whom was driving away.
/3
/4
/5
Asp of the Age
(whirl wheel)
“Nothing here, nothing here,”
I have called.
Swollen cords upon my throat
Stand rigid as a hardened rope.
”What is this to enter my door?”
The silent recluse, death
And life, in a gnarled root
Has risen from the scum,
Sprawled, and choked by food.
Taste it, eat it in the wood drift
Where wild lilies bear pod-seed,
And reeds are a drill for flutes.
O, I have occasioned naught
/6
/7
2 Works
So sour am I on April
my inspiration not good enough.
L Fel
P Jeanette Lerman
1 – at 1 o’clock
12 o’clock bus
--Black Mountain College –
Neat and orderly –
Well-organized
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