Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ottava Rima

The record of the word performs the mind—
is in itself the mind, behaves as such:
it curdles at the skin, it longs to find
those answers lurking in the mouth. As much;
as many; more. It is the thought refined,
or nearly so; it is the tongue, the touch
of this concrete near-shape. But it resists
language until it isn’t one—but is

in that the record can perform the fact:
I can’t; you won’t; it hasn’t happened yet.
And in the ear, when the careful react
by sending back revisions, to repent,
the heart invents its shape—because you asked.
It’s not the shape your sorrow would invent.
It’s smaller, milder. Has no room for pain.
We punish it for trying… Yet again,

it is the record that we have to blame;
there’s no one left to point that finger toward.
Working all night at castles, paper cranes,
sea oats made lithe for this, your broken shore,
pianos not yet built, their wooden frames
still soaking in their brine. You can’t afford
to lose sleep, can’t refuse to go to bed,
no matter what the shadowed page has said.

2 Comments:

Anonymous kristi said...

I cannot stress to you enough how much I love your poetry. I can't tell you how many times i've read talking in the dark. many of the poems i could recite from the top of my head. you are very talented and i love your stuff.

Friday, April 21, 2006 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

Thank you. Quite sincerely.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 5:57:00 AM  

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