08 January 2009

Peter Gizzi

[from Peter Gizzi's The Outernationale, Wesleyan, 2007]


A child I became a question
sitting on the grass.
To be told how lucky I am.
An open field.
This corporeal expanse
was a body too
in silver magnetism.
If I became this light
it wasn't luck. It was easy.
Bells falling away
along the divide of night.
Along the divide of night
an old face. A sorry dormer
leaning in askew
below the incoming thunder.
This was true and even if ever
I ran away. I ran
away. Above everything
I held one true thing.
This scene moved through me,
a seesaw. A picture
inside a question inside
the coming night.
These trees rang
round my head, shored
up the sky. I went on
and on like a trial balloon
over the houses. Over
the roofs. Over my head.


To remember correctly
the color of pale grass in March,
its salt hay blonde flourish.
To see it as it was,
faded cloth, mute trumpet,
the seam inside a day
the sun climbs.
Simple the life of the mind
standing outside in the grass
in March. Outside memory.
Spring interrupts
one cardinal monody
transmuted by a signal red
developed against
a draining blue horizon.
To want to go there
and to have been there
and to be there now.
This walking right now
by a river, simple and not so clear
when transcribing this
unstable multiplying narrative spring.
It can't be called anything.
We too are sprung and wound
with evolution. I want to say.
That's it: love. Not spring.
I have felt it also
in quilted drowning snow
under the sheets
in a clanking house.
Clank, I love you.
Clank. Not spring.
Glossy grass wigging
in a brightening sky.
The thrill of hair
standing on my limbs.


To be and not to understand.
To understand nothing
and be content
to watch light against
leaf-shadowed ground.
To accept the ground.
To go to it as a question.
To open up the day inside the day,
a bubble holding air
bending the vista to it.
To be inside this thing,
outside in the grass place,
out in the day
inside another thing.

The Outernationale (Wesleyan Poetry)

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