June 04, 2007

Ars Poetica

It will make no difference.
But you’ll find you can’t speak without love
although it’s an imprisonment.
Your voice must be love wrestled to unloving,
the lyre at the moment of catastrophe, a silence
within which another voice opens.

You’ll speak as you must, as always,
although you’ll never know why you’re listening
through the elisions of your stuttering heart.
You’ll long to finish, although nothing has happened,
although you haven’t begun, as if your mere being
hurt you with abundance. No one will explain.

There are wounds that blind you, sudden voices
splitting into winter, toothed windows, terrors
sifting through white slumbers of corruption,
the wraith that greets you with your shrinking face
at dawn, anonymous and violent,
waiting for Virgil.

Because you have tasted your salt in the blood
of another’s mouth, because a small flower
is eating the history of stone,
because you are asleep and all possibility
tilts on the edge of your vision, because you are nameless
and are called, because you know nothing -

a possible music
lifts through the panic of dismay -
it’s the blue of all the flowers of your body,
the brain stem, the clitoris, the tongue,
the wrist vein, the channels of the heart, the dying lips,
reaching to their likeness in the sky, in the sky’s waters -
you can’t lift it out of your flesh
because it won’t exist, but it flowers past you.
It opens the places you’ve always been,
house, fire, glass, bed, water,
tree, night,
the child’s glance which strews your transparencies
across a field of colours you have no name for,
the profane ash of touch
darkening your tongue, the dream of imperishable silver
which wakes to another dream, a boat departing
from an unmapped shore, and your crumbling words, unable
to hold even one drop of light.

—Alison Croggon

Posted by dwaber at 11:58 AM