The Lorca Variations (XXVIII) "For Turtles"
 Up there—or down here for that matter—the screams rush around us Ellipses dismember the tower of Babel, crapulent city, enraged zigzag women still sit in with feathers, on porticos Men with pale foreheads shout poems from its rooftops, crushing its grasses, city that's buried in words, like “cypress” & “daylight” “up there” & “down here”  My heart is flying from me —see it fly— & rising in a spiral, like a star, a spiral rising past the Cape obliquely, like a neon heart, celestial turtle set before the pope, until the turtle & the star drop back to earth, to test the limits of a heart, the way that hunger tests the soul or feet whatever life is left us A heart, a soul, & many turtles, where the heart transforms the body, like some pluvial sahara, & the turtles blot out the horizon, leaving turtleshells & wings behind, unto our final rest
From The Lorca Variations. Copyright © 1993 by Jerome Rothenberg. Reprinted with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Poet, editor, and translator, Jerome Rothenberg has published over seventy books and pamphlets of poetry and is known for being at the forefront of American ethnopoetics.
Date Published: 1993-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/lorca-variations-xxviii-turtles