Sunday, January 9, 2011

The First Half of a Poem Called "230. The Sonnet Rises Slowly"

Where’s the sound of singing in all of this? and where did they come from to stand here in the cold with these small lights in their hands? It is nothing
but snow that comes to us, the light we are filled with is snowlight, and cold, just as a heart intent on its own survival. We are nothing
but a song written with water and the sun comes out to take it away. We hold together as if we were one, but we are one with whatever is nothing.

Take these spongy twigs of cedar off the boughs, and make on the snow a circle of green that we can walk around silent as a toadstool, our rightful poison,
until we have walked another circle around it out of mud, and a crust of ice around each tonsure, itself just another burst circle, our turgid blood the poison
that moves our frail legs in circles through the black night with a white snow falling upon the pink skin of our shoulders, a cold ash, a permanent poison.

Why are we resting now in this cavity of snow? who is more hollow than us? the reed men, on our reedy legs, with our reedy voices whispering out our hallowed death?
When will these bodies of ours break and fall and give us the frigid and shivering sleep we most want? How will our eyes continue to see our blessèd death
repeated in the cramped and furtive corridors of our dreams? And why will our voices keep chattering through the night every secret of our anxious death?

Take these warm hearts collected from the shrew and the mole, collected from the mouse and the squirrel, collected from every warm, furry, and damned
beast of the woods. Take these tiny warm heard in each pair of your hands cupped together to that small depression of snow scooped out of the woods for the damned.
Take these tiny and warm and still-beating hearts and fill that bowl filled already with snow and darkness with them, and listen to the heartbeat of the damned.

Which are the ones of us who sing like wood scraping against wood in a storm? Which are the ones of us who believe in the singing, believe in the lie?
To what woodland creature do you bow and pray and ask for direction? To what marten or weasel do you ask for forgiveness? and where will you lie
and to what star will you turn when you think of that slight and sacred animal you believe can save you after you drink the full gallon you’ve been taught of the lie?

Take your pink and swollen feet in your hands, and maybe you can feel the little bit of heat seeping out of the chapped palms of your hands. Feel the pain
of the cold and the swelling, and the blood slowly in the pad of the foot been walking so long in the deep snow and the mud your foot has made. Revel in your pain,
in that slip of evidence that you have some living in you and some ability to feel anything. Remember well that all that shows you you’re alive is that red and pulsing pain.

Where are we walking if we’re walking in a circle of our walking? What is the journey of our going to sleep only to wake up again in the same trap
of the same life, each day identical to the next, identical to the last, and each seeming to last too deep into our soles to let us pull out of that trap
our bloody feet, ankles chewed open by the steel teeth? Why would we even want to walk free, out of these puddles of blood, free from the closed mouth of the trap?

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