Riding off of the high of You Find Yourself Staring I decided to continue to explore its themes of what poetry is and what metaphors are good for. Rather than pursue how we appropriate people with our language and metaphors, I decided to consider the poem itself as a place of meeting another. A poem functions not only as a world, with its own language, nooks, norms, open spaces, etc, but also presents a “who.” When we encounter a poem we encounter a “who” who is separate from myself and from the author, the “who” of the conversation as an object, the “who” of the poem itself. Enough pseudo-philosophy: the point being this poem (hopefully) explores that space and what it means to feel one’s way about a poetic world and come to grips with who we encounter in it. Enjoy!
could I say dry leaves blown across the
balcony, brown with autumn?
could I say the warmth of the body beside
me in the cool of night?
could I say lovelorn, mystic and blue?
could I say mortal and therefore
beautiful passing, the melting of snow cap
to riverbed or early showers?
could I say like the child shaking,
shaking, the rattle of toys
or clothes from one end of the glittered,
bowed box to the next?
what if I said it glows with the heat
of a tea-kettle, steam down
pouring over its sides, running up
kitchen walls? if I said
a certain internal consistency would
it help? if I said it dances
or called it the dancing girl, flesh
and red in rhythmic
twirl, would you finally understand?
and what if I split it, top
to bottom and buried it long ago under
a box of sheet music at your
great aunt’s, behind the electric organ
that smelled of her mid-
summer lily blossom-scent?