Common comfortable places become uncommon and uncomfortable, common words whose meanings you thought you knew are a puzzle in pieces, and then the puzzle in pieces becomes a thought you know. You see and then you don’t. Some poems are like flashes of light in the dark—like lightning perhaps in the night—How clearly we see if only for a moment. Look! Wow! Look! Wow! Look! Barry Schwabsky reads from Feelings of And in the Vimeo below. Enjoy.
I have typed out five poems from Feelings of And, the first four near the beginning of the book; the fifth nearer the end.
Strange gestures of musicians. The way a pianist might draw a hand
up with resolve, as if to entice some weighty chord to linger in the
air just that much longer, or even haul a stray note bodily from the
abyss of the keyboard as one would a child that has tumbled into
the well. What bothers me is how the useless coaxing sometimes
seems to work
He tears certain notes right off the keyboard
leaving ragged edges
and two or three tiny spots of blood.
Moderato (Pour la main gauche)
In this prelude the left hand expresses
its lonely ache for the right and lets
abandoned notes stray at large
through the starry chill of the night.
In Memory of John Cage
Silence was his golden oldie.
Sincerely, Your Target Language
Then there’s that moment
life feels so soft
flesh cushioned by the flesh
of rose petals
you could let yourself fall into that
but through the matted down petals
a shiver of crunching stems
a scratching of thorns
little scarlet points of blood
with your tossing and turning
with the branches
Feelings of And is published by Black Square Editions. You can check it out here: