A rose, rose. A violet, violet. A jade, jade.
No. The architecture of each, a refusal.

Rose is not rose nor violet violet nor jade jade.
But each is what it is, not what it seems.

What each seems is what of each gets seen.
Though what we see isn’t the thing seen.

The petals of the rose are violet and jade.
Thus the petals of the rose look, to us, rose.

The shape of the violet absorbs all but violet.
The violet we see is the violet a violet rejects.

A rose is a rose is a rose, but not as a rose.
Jade is the name of jade, not the jade named.
 

More by Raymond McDaniel

Assault to Abjury

Rain commenced, and wind did.

A crippled ship slid ashore.

Our swimmer's limbs went heavy.

The sand had been flattened.

The primary dune, the secondary dune, both leveled.

The maritime forest, extracted.

Every yard of the shore was shocked with jellyfish. 

The blue pillow of the man o' war empty in the afterlight.

The threads of the jellyfish, spent.

Disaster weirdly neatened the beach. 

We cultivated the debris field.

Castaway trash, our treasure.

Jewel box, spoon ring, sack of rock candy. 

A bicycle exoskeleton without wheels, grasshopper green.

Our dead ten speed.

We rested in red mangrove and sheltered in sheets. 

Our bruises blushed backwards, our blisters did.

is it true is it true

God help us we tried to stay shattered but we just got better.

We grew adept, we caught the fish as they fled.

We skinned the fish, our knife clicked like an edict.

We were harmed, and then we healed.

No, You Shut Up

The world baffles with sounds,
the worst of which is a human voice.
You would think that with a judgment like that
I would hate crowds, but better a pub’s intermingled dozens
than the sound of one fool speaking his mind.
The dozens drum and buzz and hum.
Against the dozens I could ring a wet glass
and sing C above high C,
could settle a bet with bold harmonics,
could stun down the bark of a barracks of dogs.
But against one idiot all another idiot can do is shout.
Imagine a life in which shouting was the precondition
for every action, if you had to shout to step, shout to sit,
shout loudly to effect any outcome.
What when you did speak would you say?
What wouldn’t sound old to you, 
about what could you not say I’ve heard this before?
What a relief it would be to scream yourself hoarse,
to be forced into silence,
the one note you know you can always hold.

Related Poems

Tender Buttons [A Plate]

A PLATE.

An occasion for a plate, an occasional resource is in buying and how soon does washing enable a selection of the same thing neater. If the party is small a clever song is in order.

Plates and a dinner set of colored china. Pack together a string and enough with it to protect the centre, cause a considerable haste and gather more as it is cooling, collect more trembling and not any even trembling, cause a whole thing to be a church.

A sad size a size that is not sad is blue as every bit of blue is precocious. A kind of green a game in green and nothing flat nothing quite flat and more round, nothing a particular color strangely, nothing breaking the losing of no little piece.

A splendid address a really splendid address is not shown by giving a flower freely, it is not shown by a mark or by wetting.

Cut cut in white, cut in white so lately. Cut more than any other and show it. Show it in the stem and in starting and in evening coming complication.

A lamp is not the only sign of glass. The lamp and the cake are not the only sign of stone. The lamp and the cake and the cover are not the only necessity altogether.

A plan a hearty plan, a compressed disease and no coffee, not even a card or a change to incline each way, a plan that has that excess and that break is the one that shows filling.