Sounds and Silence

To the rhythm of empty spaces, singing.

clear glass window with moist effect

Assembled from phrases and images found in Stéphane Mallarmé’s “Crisis in Poetry,”as translated by Rosemary Lloyd.

***

One afternoon after another, in distressing bad weather, I follow the lights of a storm. Even the press needs twenty years to discover the news, and here it is: a crisis at hand, some trembling of the real. When a hero dies, the essence of their power roams after some new form. As the cycle goes, now it gleams and now it fades, waiting. 

Here is a code. Watch it, a force like gravity,

best understood by those bent on flight.

Give me pause with deliberate dissonance, 

a euphony fragmented with consent; 

the languishing gesture of a dream. Here is 

the belated eruption of a possibility

––for song, 

poetry’s compensation for the failure of language. 

Strange mystery, sing. Take the average words. Group them,

beneath the long gaze, then arrange in cushions of silence.

Now what? What is this, breathing? Music rejoins verse to form;

explosion of mystery, the pure work implies the disappearance 

of the poet through clash of words against their inequalities.

Come, illumination of reciprocal lights, a trial of fire on precious

stones. To every cry, its echo, and it’s the rhythm of the 

white spaces that sing when the poem is silenced, and the

dazzling abundance imposes itself. 

Marvel, then at the 

disappearance, 

the memory 

of named objects 

washed 

new.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I am here to wonder out loud. The point is not to get a clear answer, a complete picture, but to remember how incomplete the picture is, to embrace the process once again, of discovery, of questions, to notice the stirrings of wonder. To leave crumbs behind, for the next traveler.

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