Friday, February 02, 2007

Silent Poetry Reading

So this is from this. And I thought Adrienne Rich would be best due to all my ravings. I would highly recommend reading this poem, even if you don't care for poetry (I know you know who you are- punks) and even though this is silent on my end, I would also recommend reading it outloud. Who knows, the other people in the computer lab may actually appreciate the break from textbook jargon. Yes Jodi, I am talking to you.

Integrity

the quality or state of being complete; unbroken condition; entirety -Webster

A wild patience has taken me this far

as if I had to bring to shore
a boat with a spasmodic outboard motor
old sweaters, nets, spray-mottled books
tossed in the prow
some kind of sun burning my shoulder blades.
Splashing the oarlocks. Burning through.
Your fore-arms can get scaled, licked with pain
in a sun blotted like unspoken anger
behind a casual mist.

The length of daylight
this far north, in this
forty-ninth year of my life
is critical.

Th light is critical: of me, of this
long-dreamed, involuntary landing
on the arm of an inland sea.
The glitter of the shoal
depleting into shadow
I recognize: the stand of pines
violet-black really, greeen in the old postcard
but really I have nothing but myself
to go by; nothing
stands in the realm of pure necessity
except what my hands can hold.

Nothing but myself? . . . My selves.
After so long, this answer.
As if I had always known
I steer the boat in, simply.
The motor dying on the pebbles
cicadas taking up the hum
dropped in silence.

Anger and tenderness: my selves.
And now I can believe they breate in me
as angels, not polarities.
Anger and tenderness: the spider's genius
to spin and weave in the same action
from her own body, anywhere-
even from a broken web.

The cabin in the stand of pines
is still for sale. I know this. Know the print
of the last foot, the hand that slammed and locked that door,
then stopped to wreathe the rain-smashed clematis
back on the trellis
for no one's sake except its own.
I know the chart nailed to the wallboards
the icy kettle squatting on the burner.
The hands that hammered in those nails
emptied the kettle one last time
are these two hands
and they have caught the baby leaping
from between trembling legs
and they have worked the vacuum aspirator
and stroked the sweated temples
and steered the boat here through this hot
misblotted sunlight, critical light
imperceptibly scalding
the skin these hands will also salve.

-1978

3 comments:

Jenn said...

Poetry - how loverly. I like reading things.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful choice of poem you chose to put on your site Leone. My class is doing poetry with my student teacher and I am absolutely amazed at the pieces they have put together. There is just something about poetry that you do not get with any other form of writing. Mom

deborah oak said...

incredible....thank you!!! If you haven't checked it out....please do. The poetry is being "collected" at
http://pagantheologies.pbwiki.com/Silent-Imbolc-poetry-reading-2007
and if these great poems aren't on there yet, they need to be. Thank you so much! Great blog, by the way.