March 26, 2007

The Duck’s Back and How it Got Like That

You have taken to returning
to the old notebooks,
where the other life is,
‘the properly narrated one’,
where you consider the duck’s back
and how it got like that,
the morphology of clouds,
how stars explode, the habits
of gravity and time. These days
you wake up in the dark

and ask yourself what you know:
the names of the Telemark saboteurs;
how the best way of writing about it
is never writing about it; that the light
at the end of the tunnel is no chink
in the gloved and greaved murk
of Erebus, neither is it the apocryphal
oncoming locomotive. It is only
some bastard with a torch.
He is not looking for you.

—C. J. Allen
from A Strange Arrangement: New and Selected Poems (Leafe Press, 2007)

Posted by dwaber at March 26, 2007 11:53 AM