Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wallace Stevens

Mike is melting the spatula
a project he began a week ago
with one charred corner
this morning another
plus collateral damage
now Mike’s pruning the spatula
paring away the melted spiral thread
his focus so absolute
he burns his eggs

Wallace Stevens [pic courtesy of A Poet Reflects]

Autumn Refrain

The skreak and skritter of evening gone
And grackles gone and sorrows of the sun,
The sorrows of sun, too, gone . . . the moon and moon,
The yellow moon of words about the nightingale
In measureless measures, not a bird for me
But the name of a bird and the name of a nameless air
I have never — shall never hear. And yet beneath
The stillness of everything gone, and being still,
Being and sitting still, something resides,
Some skreaking and skrittering residuum,
And grates these evasions of the nightingale
Though I have never — shall never hear that bird.
And the stillness is in the key, all of it is,
The stillness is all in the key of that desolate sound.

That sounding of skreak and skritter is relentlessly anti-elegant and hopelessly American, and in so saying the grackles are known to be absent from the scene even as they are felt to be noisily present. . . .

one can almost see a bent wrist’s theatrical touch to the hero’s brow . . .

the important but seemingly incremental revision from “being still” to “Being and sitting still.”

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