Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Interim Poetics

I walked there guilty by tongue but not by mind
The water was breaking on a soft green rock
The rock was breaking underfoot despite a lack of intention
My works contained no genius, only an agitated bouquet of ideas
White ones, sand ones, some almost blue
An image I returned to: deep green tendrils, coarse salt
By day I moved easily enough through the offices of disappointing money
Uninterrupted, nobody stopped to ask for any music
I knew my family’s faces by pinkness and language comprehension
Something like a fond electricity was happening inside of me
I felt I could lie there forever on the tarmac by the sea
A three-legged chair, a clock, a door opening in the surf
My eye passed over without judgment or apprehension
A feeling entered quietly through the four walls of my murky inheritance
Just lost in the technicolor thought of it
A brush stroking to the left, a government whistling as it hurts
I receive its washed-up objects and contain not a single word

Credit


Copyright © 2018 Wendy Xu. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2018. Used with permission of the authors.

Author


Wendy Xu

Wendy Xu is the author of Phrasis (Fence Books, 2017) and You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013).

Date Published: 2018-12-10

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/interim-poetics