The Use of Form

Bodies of work.

One advantage to poetry is that requires no heavy apparatus to carry around. Only this body, heavy enough when conscious. Unconscious, the form is dead weight, nearly impossible to move.  And yet, when awakened to its fullest extent, nearly weightless. Here again is another advantage to the form. Of poetry, of the body.

Both remind. This is how it is possible to float, vertically tethered and horizontally webbed. In this poem, our feet in the earth may stir the unborn forest. In this poem, someone calls across the sea, Friend. Across and between each continent and each impossible divide.

Friend, this speaker calls. Don’t dismiss me to the murmuring masses you mean to float above. Friend, comes this voice, hold fast to me. These bodies, in the end, are all we may carry, and nothing but their given songs. Put up your sword, friend. Each must be held, or nothing holds. We are going to need both hands.


Inspired by the work of Tomas Tranströmer.

Sacrament of Memory

For the never forgetting.

At the baths, questions. The woman walks ahead. A man stops her to ask for a cigarette. I don’t smoke, he tells her. Okay, she agrees, and hands one over. Never forget, he says, regarding God’s words to St. Catherine. She wonders what. Only: you are who is not, and I am what is.

The bathers look on. One claps, considering the speaker must have heard it from the source. But what is faith if you can earn a degree in it? Its most common translation: madness. And who are the faithful, seeming so alone? Is this what it looks like, the communion of saints?

Why would anybody swim with a lighted candle? Whatever it is, he wants to know, so he stops her to remark upon the color of her hair in the light. What else is lost in translation? Only the translator as she leaves him.

There’s a landslide in the living room, the entrance a sacrament. By his side, a clock, a gourd, an empty bottle. Now comes the good oil, anointing by proxy. Now a confession from the madman: he never learned to smoke. It’s too hard, he says. Better to learn not to do things

Now the rain again. Now the bread and wine. A furtive look in the mirror. Who is this man? At communion, heads bow, I am not worthy. But say the word. The bottles fill with rain.


This is the second of two posts inspired by Tarkovsky’s Nostalgia. The first was over a week ago. The reason for the gap is that it tends to take me a long time to watch a film, life being what it is and only so many hours in a day. Since I really love this one, it took less than two weeks. Now I would like to see every film this director ever made.