Friday, September 08, 2006

Sooner or later

PRACTICE

Love, my faith is vague. When others speak

of how they practice it, I think of kung fu

and plywood split by pajamed banshees,

how they always say you learn

such force through practice, pain repeated until

pain isn’t pain. It’s the piccolo

with its reed humming slivers

of sound that won’t ever be music

no matter the fervor of practice,

no matter the pursed poise

of your lips. When I write you, when I peel

away the stamps one no longer

need lick, I’m careful. Careful

for ounces of ink and pulp

and minutes shaved from time

if it exists at all and these words

I strung together beyond needful elaboration

only to say I thought of you

today beside the humming fountain

and had no change to wish

you some better life,

some cloud of shade to be

at your infinite beck, your always and immediate

call. A form of faith I follow

is the sky because it never falls,

despite the testimony of chickens

snuffed by hail, ragdolled by the rain

and through my window

I’m watching the last of summer

as the leaves begin to curl

in invisible fire

and I want to tell you

one thing which has within it no urgency at all

over and over again.

14 comments:

Shamrock said...

What a beautiful piece of reading to start my day with. Thank you.

Melissa said...

Same response here. I woke up to wonderful words, even before my morning coffee.

Anonymous said...

what do you want to tell me?

M. Shahin said...

"A form of faith I follow
is the sky because it never fall"

I really thought this poem very good, especially these lines.

A. D. said...

i like this and love the chapbook.

Anonymous said...

very sweet poem, Paul. thank you for sharing.

rad

Anonymous said...

also, paul, piccolos don't have reeds; they are wind, not woodwind instruments.

rad

Anonymous said...

paul, you're awesome!

Paul said...

Ha! I meant to check on the reed thing but forgot.

Crap.

A. D. said...

i wouldn't lose the reed, though. it moves well into the licking image—one has to wet reeds, and lick stamps.

unfortunately, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and saxophone are not as sonically smooth here.

Paul said...

When sound and sense collide!

Piccolo is just a fun word too.

Anonymous said...

humming sliver
silver
it's the sound across the mouthpiece, the opening like a bottle top--just work with the silver/sliver interplay; they can be black as well. and they are very tiny.

r.

Anonymous said...

Of your post a few posts back, thanks for the props.

And if I might: "and into what will I emerge from these red brick cocoons? Poet? Teacher? I know not what..."

Enter Forrester, trying not to kill himself. Enter Rodney, his pants down, pushing an entire year's worth of poetry toward you know who.

Love, Matt

Anonymous said...

almost i rushed home to read this poem...again.