Wednesday, February 15, 2006



Tell me to sleep, to be still, to root.

All atoms, star litter, my body.

I practice breath like an arcane trick.

To the afterthought night

makes of your hair

I’m saying nuzzle,

pneumatic with fear I said nozzle.

Or the rain I want

to be snow

and the snow I wish were ashes,

ashes. Tell me not

to burn, to burrow, to seek dark soil.

Tell me not.

Beside you, my weight in blood

and my lungs dreaming

of the silent ocean

floor. This is my shell, beloved, and these,

my claws. When

you speak to me

like the vivisected moon,

you are mine.


Anonymous said...

As I read this last night, and reread it this morning, I heard Prufrock murmuring in my ear:

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
scuttling across the floors of silent seas.


We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

I hadn't thought of Prufrock in such an awfully long time.

Your poem is beautiful, Paul.

I was reading your book again last night before I turned out the light and I thought to myself: I want to write like this. I want to write poems that can be read and reread and never wear thin.

Thanks for always inspiring me and giving me something to aspire to.

Paul said...

I worry about the Prufrock echo, though I'm glad it brought him back for you. I didn't, consciously, mean to echo it, but I recognized it right away.

And thank you very much for your kind words. It means a lot.