24 July 2007

"You're either among the seated or the eated."--snippet of conversation overheard this morning at the Christiansburg IHOP

Memory Is Like a Shotgun Kicking You Near the Heart
--Frank Stanford

I get up, walk around the weeds
by the side of the road with a flashlight
looking for the run-over cat
I hear crying.

I think of the hair growing on the dead,
any motion without sound,
the stars, the seed ticks
already past my knees,
the moon beating its dark bush.

I take the deer path
down the side of the hill to the lake,
wade the cold water.
My light draws the minnows,
shines through them, goes dead.

Following the shore
I choose the long way home
past the government camping grounds,
and see where the weeds have been
beaten down,
hear the generator on the Winnebago purring.

The children of the tourists
are under the wheels
like a covered wagon.
They scratch in their sleep
until they bleed.

When I get home
I drink a glass of milk in the dark.
She gets up, comes into the room naked
with her split pillow,
says what's wrong,
I say an eyelash.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes
--Emily Dickenson

After great pain, a formal feeling comes--
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round--
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought--
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone--

This is the Hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--

No comments: