20050410-snowyporch

Calibrate

How happy am I
to apply
this brief kiss,
or can I say,
today I am a woman,
perhaps clay,
perhaps human.

Rushing along the galaxy,
this string bag of easy puzzles.

To make matters worse,
I’m happy.
Calibrate:
A veil of wet snow,
a diffuse sun,
there are the planks of the porch,
there is the wooden rail,
there are the willow whips
like Desdemona’s hair,
or Lear’s blind tears
beyond recall.

–Ruth Stone

I keep thinking about Ruth Stone’s description of how a poem comes to her: She can hear it thundering towards her from across the landscape, and all she can do is run like hell to get a pencil to capture it before it barrels on past and finds another poet. And sometimes she catches it just in time, by its tail. When that happens, says Stone, the poem comes in, but every line is in reverse.

Ah the caprice of this venture, this making something out of thin air.

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