Saturday, February 18, 2006

Catch

EXIT INTERVIEW

This is about failure but let’s pretend

it’s the rain that fixes us here

stamping our feet in this gulag

of a month. Let’s pretend the moon

isn’t the sky’s scar tissue.

Let’s pretend the artifact

of our breath will remain

obedient, not like a good dog

licking the deep salt

from your hands, but like

a robot or a butler,

or in a better world than this one,

a robot butler. Let’s say

it was summer

and the world

became a lurid green

and all we could

do to survive was darn the socks of tyrants

in a cave beside

the green murmur of the sea.

What would it mean

turning to you

in the night

disguised in the milk light of the moon?

To your throat

I would press

my lips like a voided stamp.

You could never return me.

If this life is

the only one,

it will not be so hard to love ashes before salt.

To always ache.

4 comments:

Sisyphus Walking said...

I'm sorry to hear about the book complications. I can't imagine the frustration.

But, on a lighter note, this is a super poem.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

I stumbled on your site and must tell you I am very much enjoying your work. Do you like Davis McCombs? Something about your work makes me think of him. I heard him read last year at a UK Symposium. Wendell Berry and Barbara Kingsolver also read. It was quite an enjoyable evening. Here's a McCombs piece for you from his book Ultima Thule:

Star Chamber

Once, the Doctor spoke to me at length
of stars and prognostications, how,
when we observe the waxing of the Moon,
everything cognate to her nature-marrow
in bones and in trees, flesh of the river
mussel-increases also. He told of tides
and how the ocean is affixed as with a chain
to moonlight. I think it must be different
in the Cave, where no light penetrates.
There, I have lost hours, whole cycles of the Sun.
At Star Chamber, I control the spheres-
a lantern hung just-so will produce the night sky
as if seen from a gorge; wobble it, and a comet,
smoky, pestilent, streaks across the Ether.

It didn't format correctly, but you can look him up if you like him and read it in the correct format.

Again, I really enjoy your work!

Annie in cloudy KY

Paul said...

Hi Annie. Glad you enjoy my work. I do like Davis McCombs a lot.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

It actually did format correctly. Yipee!
:)