Michael C. Peterson
Something of occupation, something about
withdrawal. The lecturer said
that when the bevy wings or lands together—
whether there’s music attached at all, if it
goes, where it goes to go undone,
whether there’s agreement to flight-from—
the question’s wrong.
To die, an emergency. To die by emergency.
A form of this is beauty.
Like blossom. More like shouting from one
end of a lake to another.
Like beating on the lake’s tin surface. Beauty
partly heard is its emergency.
You should know. What our voices called for?
The house like a boat et cetera.
This is what we wanted back. Sea-flake shaken
from her bruised frame:
B. A. Newmark
The Commander says even if you think
it’s God crouching on all fours—shoot him.
You practice entering a building
knowing that in the near future the ruin
will remember the house.
A student studying a great
text, you learn that love is like war
and war a case of amnesia—each an
argument against faith.
And so you turn away
from the open window, the street below
jingling like new money, and a heat that
never subsides, thinking that it would
have been better if you had two lives and
could start over in the next one
strong enough to have your own way.
Like a truck packed with explosives
the Commander says that: what the world
will take it will keep on taking.
A detonator, a timer, a fuse
we deepen into each other, knowing we
have entered that small, accidental
permanent company of one another.
And he himself, as he lay there, relieved, with the sweetnessExcerpt from Rainer Maria Rilke’s “The Third Elegy,” translated by Stephen Mitchell (via commovente)
of the gentle world you had made for him dissolving beneath
his drowsy eyelids, into the foretaste of sleep —:
he seemed protected … But inside: who could ward off,
who could divert, the floods of origin inside him?
Ah, there was no trace of caution in that sleeper; sleeping,
yes but dreaming, but flushed with what fevers: how he threw himself in.
All at once new, trembling, how he was caught up
and entangled in the spreading tendrils of inner event
already twined into patterns, into strangling undergrowth, prowling
bestial shapes. How he submitted —. Loved.
Loved his interior world, his interior wilderness,
that primal forest inside him, where among decayed treetrunks
his heart stood, light-green. Loved.