Skip to content

2007 issue

Where would they take us, these voices? Meaning, they say, is all here if only we could read it. Is this a play, these poems ask. A fight? A ritual representation? Can you dream? Going in over your head? What moves you? How much disclosure is enough? Taken about all you can take? You will want to talk about the universe of stars, but, these poems say, what about the universe of cellsムthe cells that live in us and the ones we live in? You will want to talk about the path imagination takes that leads us this far, but, these poems say, what about the path compassion takes for the secret-sharing that time, now or then, always tells?

Yes, here, being alive is a hard act to follow. The new call to lose tunnel vision and instill spirit to go the extra-mile works magic, enacting unfamiliar routines with real backbone. For experience lived by you and me, says the poet, dreams of transforming us somehow, glutted and singular not with pleasure but with an outcome looping from whatever the context is in our lives that has worked itself into the very thing we embody, all the way to the text complicit with the sinister, that we would devour in conspicuous form, words conjured out of the skeletal air to get closer to the sacred roar we hear in our ears, a hymn to the limits of wisdom that teaches everyone, regardless of who or where they are, that experience speaks in many voices, demanding no less than that we pluck its fruit and eat our fill of the shadows projected by the innocence we once would do anything to defend, but that now, in our letting it go, blesses us, who lay seemingly elsewhere at the bottom perhaps of our lives taken to heart, fitly spoken like apples of gold on the boughs we reach for in silence, in the piercing ambition of our days, the map put away, the long walk to be taken up, beyond age, beyond recall, as when the poetユs deepest allegiance is to creation as a whole, arising out of the feeling in the recesses of his or her being that no being on earth deserves to be unhappy.

Yes, the wild ecstasy has gone nowhere, and the pen perches in readiness. You are here too, it says. You and you and you. The upward glance, the throat choking on its own hunger, the voices of laughter faintly heard, like praise, like the strong embrace between this moment and the one that lasts.