Thursday, April 17, 2008

word on the street

there's a quiet hum on the street. old men stop talking. pens are put down. chess games are deserted. the echo of foot steps running down the road. laughter from a far off house. a quick hush as papers are dropped, cars turned off, the washing is half hung out to dry. cats are left mewing at doorways, trees stop losing their leaves.
it's the weekly edition of random poetics. stop everything to read it and weep.
c h a l k talk
looking at them asleep: sharon olds

When I come home late at night and go in to kiss them,
I see my girl with her arm curled around her head,
her mouth a little puffed, like one sated, but
slightly pouted like one who hasn't had enough,
her eyes so closed you would think they have rolled the
iris around to face the back of her head,
the eyeball marble-naked under that
thick satisfied desiring lid,
she lies on her back in abandon and sealed completion,
and the son in his room, oh the son he is sideways in his bed,
one knee up as if he is climbing
sharp stairs, up into the night,
and under his thin quivering eyelids you
know his eyes are wide open and
staring and glazed, the blue in them so
anxious and crystally in all this darkness, and his
mouth is open, he is breathing hard from the climb
and panting a bit, his brow is crumpled
and pale, his fine fingers curved,
his hand open, and in the center of each hand
the dry dirty boyish palm
resting like a cookie. I look at him in his
quest, the thin muscles of his arms
passionate and tense, I look at her with her
face like the face of a snake who has swallowed a deer,
content, content—and I know if I wake her she'll
smile and turn her face toward me though
half asleep and open her eyes and I
know if I wake him he'll jerk and say
Don't and sit
up and stare about him in blue
unrecognition, oh my Lord how I
know these two. When love comes to me and says
What do you know, I say This girl, this boy.
shadows: sarah arvio

I saw some shadows moving on the wall
and heard a shuffle, as of wings or thoughts.
I rolled back the sheets and looked at the day,

a raw, blown day, white papers in the street.

Sheets were flapping in the sky of my mind,
I smelled the wet sheets, I tasted a day

in sheets hanging in the damp of a day.
White pages flapping: my life had been so new
when I didn't yet know how old it was.

I couldn't see the vistas on those sheets,
the dreamscapes sleeping deeply in those sheets;
I hadn't yet seen my shadow vita

or learned which host would trick me or treat me,
which of my hosts would give me something sweet,
some good counsel and a soft place to sleep,

or what was the name of my ghostwriter.
Who ghosted my life, whose dream would I ghost,
who wrote my name and date across these sheets,

and which sheets would be the wings of my thoughts,
and which would hold the words of my angels.
A host, and did I know I’d have a host;

no, a line of sheets is never a bed,
a gaggle of hosts is never a love,
a host is never as good as a home,

a ghost as good as a dog or a god.
But I had my heart, always had my heart
for god and a home as much as it hurt.
if you don't want to hear the word, tell us. if you want us to shout from the rooftops, tell us that too.
lazy days, rain pouring outside, watch it flood from the gutters. pinecones drop in groups as the rain tumbles harder. it's cold outside, and we pad around the house in socks, stripey. winter's on our heels, and we're not running. we like the grey.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Looking forward to winter over here too. I think Sharon Olds has watched David Attenborough's Cold Blood - a boa constrictor ate a small deer. Quite frankly, it was dry wretching material!