31 October 2008

Cole Swensen

[from Cole Swensen's Ours, University of California Press, 2008]


Certain traditions claim that man and garden cannot be separated,
or if and when they are, will neither still be visible, the inverse

of those twins that you never see in the same place at the same time.
       We disappear
through a single door, unrecognized

in the morning in the park, where we sit behind the early paper
and periodically declare I can't believe

in the Middle Ages, they drew the news on cemetery walls. A long line
of bodies in silhouette that swayed. This too, they say,

is paradise because the sky touches the ground wherever the former
       has a hole in it called a hand,
espalliered mansions and guests in the millions.

The first public gardens in history were called oubliettes. As soon as
       you entered,
you were indistinguishable from the animals.

Ours (New California Poetry)

No comments:

Post a Comment