Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday Words

When in the uterine empyrean they told me
By Patrick Donnelly

When in the uterine empyrean they told me

of love, they named it a sickness, fever, impediment
to enlightenment. Some swore it could make you wail
over hills of hell in a long black veil, defenestrate

yourself in a Second Empire gown, or stand
wringing-wet at the intersection with a cup and a sign

There were a few, humiliated and exalted, who rose
like comets in yellowy tiers, to sing in Proven├žal
of the Name, the Name, the same longing Name.

But others warned that whom He loves, He corrects,
of "friendship with benefits," balcony scenes, mad scenes
in all-white restaurants, of the turned back in bed.

But when they said I could remain behind
if I chose, like an unlit lamp,
sounding my brass and tinkling my cymbal,

I didn't think, I seized
the bloody flag of my attachments
and tore down the tunnel of what I couldn't know

was my millionth birth.

Is there such a thing as memory from before birth? I wonder. This poem reminds me of The Famished Road and the spirit-children. Listen to Patrick Donnelly read this poem.

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