Poems of the Week – Cort Day



Rhizome Forest Waltz

I’m walking through the empty set, making guesses.
I guess: a documentary about the pleasure principle.
There’s an ice storm in a town with one red lover.
There’s a drop-dead forest that’s perfectly accurate
and doesn’t plan on being saved. Tomorrow, in the Spring,
I’ll put on my softest suit, my moth suit, and go out looking
for my imaginary wife. She’ll be here and there
among the mangroves and coral, and we’ll both be amazed
at the living and dying getting done in our extremities,
at the rafts of sleeping children our breathing lets in.


A Little Song About Darkness

The world of dew is the gleaming mask darkness
wears to narrate its arousal by submission.
Its physiognomy shines. Ibises shine,
ignorant of their enormous file size.
Ibises narrate the contingency of things
held in dawn light. There’s never an ibis missing
because ibises are gnomons the light grows
inside itself to prevent forgetting. Darkness
grows inside the body of the noble savage,
who is pacing, pacing the shoreline in tears.


Reel Change

She was a blue panel of self-delight.
Deep aqueous fjords, anemone and sponge.
I was peddling thin mints from an icicle cage.
In the split-second reel change the pregnancy took.
All my coins falling by the early water.
The immense chords all iron, all salt.
No cynicism in the faces of the waves.
No science when the unheard-of voice begins.
The sky was a libertine. She was a sculptor.
We believed. Around us the blood began to knock.


* all poems from The Chime, Alice James Books, 2001.

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