Sunday, February 11, 2007

Michael Palmer - Voice and Address

We all have our own personal anthology, the anthology in our heads. This morning, I'm thinking of that anthology. My anthology.

This is one of the poems to which I return and keep returning. No surprise to people who know me, that it's by Michael Palmer. It's from First Figure, reprinted in his selected poems, The Lion Bridge.

For me, in reveals wonderfully the difficulty of our present. And the beauty of its enacting. What a difficult balance that is. How to say, when saying complicates itself into near opacity? Opacity of connotation . . . of competing desire.

Michael Palmer
Voice and Address

You are the owner of one complete thought

Its sons and daughters
march toward the capital

There are growing apprehensions to the south

It is ringed about
by enclaves of those who have escaped

You would like to live somewhere else

away from the exaggerated music
in a new, exaggerated shirt

a place where colored stones have no value

this hill is temporary
but convenient for lunch

Does she mean that the afternoon should pass

in such a manner
not exactly rapidly

and with a studied inattention

He has lost his new car
of which you were, once,

a willing prisoner

a blister in your palm
identical with the sky’s bowl

reflected in the empty sentence

whose glare we have completely shed
ignoring its freshness

The message has been sent

across the lesser features in the glass
where the listeners are expendable

The heart is thus flexible

now straight now slightly bent
and yesterday was the day for watching it

from the shadow of its curious house

Your photo has appeared
an island of calm

in a sea of priapic doubt

You are the keeper of one secret thought
the rose and its thorn no longer stand for

You would like to live somewhere

but this is not permitted
You may not even think of it

lest the thinking appear as words

and the words as things
arriving in competing waves

from the ruins of that place


At 7/21/2009 10:01 AM, Blogger ZINDO said...

i woke up this morning with

away from the exaggerated music
in a new, exaggerated shirt

Recursus is definitely in mine


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