This is a love poem. It has no business.
It happens in that anyway world 
Where the bodies are by now decided
To get all the way up, accompanied
By changes in temperature and light
Welcome and unwelcome both,
Lie down, get up, go prone again,
 
Get nowhere in time. I won’t
Reduce to a single preposition 
A relation to the one person about it 
Like grass. Who has a pronoun, a name,
Three or four even, which globe, 
Without containing, her experience,
Of which I chase awareness till  
 
Her letters are with one exception
All over this deepening sheet, name-
Blind blue of a cloudless day. 
Unconcerned with property disputes,
The poem gradually permits itself
To figure grass, the blue of the sky
Because we see those first kinds
 
Of immense quiet as sleepers
While walking the dog in the hills
And store them for future use
As simile and metaphor, each 
ancient and suspiciously free 
Of present disaster. But today royally is 
Blue and cloudless, this blue, this 
 
Unironic absence of clouds over green
That makes you temporarily more
Intelligent, makes time harder to track
Until it seems it’s always been
Only this pleasure somewhere 
Between hours in the form of a bell
Melting mid-ring. The poem’s now
 
Broken one of its rules in order
To keep ringing. Because I want to
Be smarter than true it continues
To disobey the trace of my injuries,
Remembering home is not a place
One at all leaves or gets to
But supremely anonymous
 
Relations with rhythm, a fragrance
Where skin meets time on which
No pronouns fall, here in the presence of.
Not lasting but repeatable and
Each of the instances claimed
For the series, belonging with the ones
That came before it, the others
 
Still to come but not in doubt,
Yesterday moving on top of tomorrow.
If blue were an all-day affair work 
Didn’t tear us apart in, but held
As shape and song, the anonymous one 
Playing on repeat, referencing nothing but
The very red distraction I attend to
 
Where bed turns each afternoon away
Along the suede sound of good decay
There’s still plenty of time to invent,
None of it spent in advance, then,
In intuition of every day to come, 
The flowers lasting for more than a week,
Blue growing down to grass, 
It would be like this.
 

More by Geoffrey G. O'Brien

Three Seasons

The winter, it was the winter all
the usual things happened,
I have forgotten what
would travel from the north
as a series seen from above
or from below, and the followers,
the flowers, I tore them up
the next summer, or rather
before or immediately after
and thought no more about it.
But then the summer, plans
to sign a contract, the summer
came back for what it was:
a small sprinkling of rue
and a yellow fantasy
and we were invited. It appeared
tall and swaying and deaf
to appeals, and the winter following,
this was the arrangement—
first one and then into 
another not yet there,
many years of this refrain
and all the productions within it
coming to mean more 
of an intimacy between
musical instruments and still lifes
you lose yourself in again
and probably have now,
what objects have known
in their one dark winter afternoon.
They are still visited
by everything else and together
complete the effect, a distance
which the next day took form.
That winter stopped and probably
on account of summer a spring,
spring with a sturdy fringe
and a local reputation,
it’s outside, in various rooms
and looks at everything,
a few lilacs in awkward
positions, but they were alright,
it was summer, very strong,
passing organizations,
which never finished anything
and ended in making
all this, cold coals
of wildflowers, little wars
at the centers, they go on for years 
burning near the front
and from below.

Mixed Mode

The experience of leaving
one category for another, 
of smooth being colder
than rough and of
that December I suffer
as the experience of leaving
one category for another,
using life that way
that opens and stops
moving, done,
furtively waving
as with one month
that opens and stops
among the others,
waiting and waking
in a place which seems filled
with restrained abilities
that experience that
has never seemed to me
to arrive before night
except as the need
to want to live
and want to be dead,
using a life that way,
face first, name gone,
and coming to
among a rival's things

Vague Cadence

An away of practice the other is
Like a river out of acts the other is
Hapless, unheard, with marks upon him
Having dallied in tarrying unwisely
Backlit at an undecidable remove
In a house of marks the other is
Useless deciding whether to go
Or wait in best practices like a child
A hapless river filled with sand
For years it flows like unmarked rope
Years of saying as it moves away
Are the undecided water others bring
Like the child of acts the other is
Saying to himself the other is
A hapless river practicing its flow
A house that moves to where one was
With all years off the water goes
The lights are on so the dark is out
Like the useless children others are
A certain building dream within
A part of speech without a name

Related Poems

The New Higher

You meant more than life to me. I lived through
you not knowing, not knowing I was living.
I learned that you called for me. I came to where
you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.
No one to appreciate me. The legality of it
upset a chair. Many times to celebrate
we were called together and where
we had been there was nothing there,
nothing that is anywhere. We passed obliquely,
leaving no stare. When the sun was done muttering,
in an optimistic way, it was time to leave that there.

Blithely passing in and out of where, blushing shyly
at the tag on the overcoat near the window where
the outside crept away, I put aside the there and now.
Now it was time to stumble anew,
blacking out when time came in the window.
There was not much of it left.
I laughed and put my hands shyly
across your eyes. Can you see now?
Yes I can see I am only in the where
where the blossoming stream takes off, under your window.
Go presently you said. Go from my window.
I am in love with your window I cannot undermine
it, I said.