Professing * Reflecting

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday poem, Chase Twichell

For all of those who, unlike me at the moment, are writing. I was lucky enough to take a poetry writing class with Chase Twichell way way back in the day. I read this poem just before I went to graduate school. It remains my favorite piece of writing on writing. What a lush relationship the woman has with language, something I try to nurture in myself especially (and perhaps oddly) when writing difficult theoretical papers.

Word Silence

There's a flame like the flame of fucking
that longs to be put out: words are filings
drawn toward a vast magnetic silence.
The loins ask their usual question
considering loneliness.
The answer is always a mountaintop
erasing itself in a cloud.
It's as if the mind keeps flipping
a coin with a lullaby on one side
and a frightening thrill on the other,
and if it lands it's
back in the air at once.
A word can rub itself rosy
against its cage of context,
starting a small fire in the sentence
and trapping for a moment
the twin scents of now and goodbye.
The sexual mimicry always surprises me:
the long dive the talky mind makes
into the pleasures of its native dark.
Like pain, such joy is locked
in forgetfulness, and the prisoner
must shout for freedom again and again.
Is that what breaks sentences apart
and spreads their embers in a cooling silence?
The pen lies in the bleach of sunlight
fallen on the desk, the ghost-sheet of a bed
turned back. If I look for a long time
into wordlessness, I can see
the vestiges of something that I knew
dissolving. Something that I no longer know.
And there I sleep like an innocent
among the words I loved
but crushed for their inflammable perfumes.




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