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Alan Botsford – Ⅴ

a mamaist world mix* 



Out there there is life at the brink

Of progress… Eve O Eve, missing you—

Maple leaf, fragrant hands, human house, taste for tomorrow

No matter where we go. I sit by the window–

Things I didn’t know I loved, all those sleep shapes

(they shall know before night comes, at the end of the world).

I speak of the city, landscapes, I am root

Beside the chrysanthemum. If I became a stone

Walking around, birth stone at night, at the gates

(surely you remember, don’t ask me for that love again),

Words to be said over and over again bypassing

Rue Descartes under a certain little star.

Yes, reality demands remembering my father,

In the damp places, the all, the nothing:

I feel the dead discoursing on method,

On the road of the dread. I rise with an effort

But first one must free oneself, of the weight

Of stones, and the well right at the end of night,

To stimulate the burning of the heart– Who

Is a poet, after all, or potato thief? I am

The first, like the one between, where nobody’s

Everyday history. …Trying again, I

Speak of the city, walking around, wind invites wind

(my imperialism’s a sneeze) for a family portrait—

We are many (too many names), the pilgrim in

a universe of the rose…

This vision from the blue window–You tell us what to do.

Another life, the future –yesterday (If it were not every morning):

Behold the thin green fingers probe

The end and the beginning, as a singing

Flower, a lullaby to

The emptiness of man,

Man on the edge in order to speak,

Man past the bucolic daily space and motionless faces,

A man in his life—come thunder—when death came,

Postponed nightmare? Betrayal at daybreak?

Our fear a knife all blade, stone and light, flower-patterned snake.

But hear now, a prayer to my mother:

Missing you, forever parted, concerning a girl

(no self portrait of the Other),

A request for nocturnal visits

Waiting with lowered voice

From the bridge, far from kingdoms,

Below freezing.

O This earth, my brother!

A dress of fire, and perseverance;

Tree of fire, and silence.

Whatever you want, white on white.

So the world changes.

Thanks to the things,

The things reality demands.




*The lines of this poem are fashioned from, or inspired by, titles of poems published in The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry (Vintage Books, 1996).