from "Surge"

Etel Adnan - 1925-
A long night I spent
thinking that reality was the story
of the human species



the vanquished search for the vanquished



Sounds come by, ruffling my soul
 

I sense space’s elasticity, 
go on reading the books she wrote on the
wars she’s seen



Why do seasons who regularly follow
their appointed time, deny their kind of energy
to us?



why is winter followed by a few
more days of winter? 



We came to transmit the shimmering
from which we came; to name it


 
we deal with a permanent voyage,
the becoming of that which itself had
become

Related Poems

The Rosetta Stone for Birdcalls

is the Rosetta Stone for Human Suffering. Caw = territorial
outrage. Musical flutings upwards = the days of summer are always
declining. Peep = hunger. Barrage of chips = desperate hunger.
Who? = the nest has been abandoned. Varied pipings =
I surrender my eggs to a predator. Grates & rusty
noises = the distance between us can only be managed by violence.
Trill = inadequacy of desire. Low whistles = difficulties with
lice, with bacteria, with fungus, etc.

No such stone ever hewn would translate lightning or torrent
a million years elicits. No such stone would bear the
incisions of the master's awl.
Such a stone would serve instead as instruction manual for building
pyramids & museums.

When the accipiter in its suicidal plummet snatches the finch,
what instrument measures the strum of the vibrating airs? Who sees
the God who plucks this lute?