Friday, September 07, 2007



say no, say never, delineate present dumbness down
unto the river or the railroad’s tracks I watch
bend under coal, which is time, isn’t it, this clock
ready to accept fire, I recant, I revolve, repudiate,
firstly impugn, crushing the crippled girl
in the first iterations of her heart, turn her body
all to tear duct, to sullen, to impetuous speed
and trying to feel as broken I stop
all whatevers, codes and retractions and reachings,
clutchings in the darkness of clumsy,
that state, that Arkansas, that flag
my body waving cannot take down, bury, burn,
I stammer the synapses I can
all for some other girl
and her body full of her body
and her nerves and her hidden from me toes unpainted,
a nagging, sweet neglect, tableaux
a word we’d both turn to look up,
but agree was correct, as this solitude is
correct and endless, like a dream
of God, or further brokenness, or the train again,
which teaches me not the blues
or sadness or anything that is frail
and romantic, only that sleep is large
enough to contain all things,
the train’s three in the morning glottal warning,
just as you contained me, your body
in its ways, its allowances, its suffrage
of me within you
which I said to myself was kindness
though I think you thought to save me
from however many understandings there would be,
in knotted rows of time, in no and no
again, refusals and refusals,
withdrawal, implicitness I thought was my death,
but not yet say my singing teeth.


keith said...

you know, i needed a kick in the ass to get some new poems going after working on this manuscript so much for the past month and change. and i this wonderful tour de force has helped. gotta keep it running.

Anonymous said...

lovely, paul.

your voice is epic, and compassionate.


Talia said...

turn her body
all to tear duct,

Love this poem.

Wendy Wisner said...

beautiful, paul

Anonymous said...

Lots of aggression in this poem that borders on rant - I guess the aggression is the backdrop or the mock chaos (?) above which the moments of lyricism can rise. The poem left me a bit breathless with hardly any pauses almost as if the speaker were reluctant to consider what he was saying, speeding past his own voice in search of something exquisite to say or stumble (a train in search of tracks...)