THE EAR

Where is a shore for my song?
Born at sea, fed by longing,
Born of endless spaces
Where weather hurls itself headlong
With melody shrieking at the fore,
A harmony of winds upon the flanks,
Stunning silence just behind
And silence above, small crying below,
A crying like an oozing from the flow of water
Of a small green island, green trickling
Water which descends gushing among
The little complicated water ways of rock
And wandering banks of fallen overgrowth
Of my tiny imagined island in the sea.

I am the venus of poetry not spotted yet by Botticelli,
The unthinkably large thing, out, out
In the universe alone.

Where is the store for my song?
It goes everywhere,
It spills over the mountains of the moon,
Flows wasted over desolate orbs which circle
The icy bounds of the dark outer universe,
Trapped in asteroids’ silence,
Their journeys through miles meant for some other god.

Where is a home for my utterance?
It sings to immense distances, howling
With the storms which triumph over dying stars,
Throwing its lyrics into the long
Bowels of the silence and the distance, dark
And cold, not seen, not heard, not echoed
By even the coldest mountain tops
Into lost and ruined valleys of stone and snow.

I know as much as you but I am dead to you.

Let me bring my face closer to the pines,
The ships which hurry with their bounties,
The seasons, the blue air, the mothers with their children,
Let me press my eyes closer to the breathing air,
Let me stick my tongue into your atmosphere,
Let me put my nose nearer to the buildings,
Shrouded in wispy clouds, let me push my hands closer
To the day, let me arrive on earth, even to fail!
I promise not to break anything.

Let my voice have a try beneath this dome,
Where poets flourish decidedly only in death,
And genius is usually lost among the leaves,
Where this one’s meter died within his scenery,
Where this one’s assonance died of luxury,
Where this one’s rhyme was killed by pedantry,
Where this one’s poetry died under the carpet,
Where this one’s poetry was smothered by wit,
Where her poetry was over-mathematical,
Where his poetry was detained by a story,
Where a rush of sudden feeling ambushed hers,
Where his was too pleasant,
Where hers had no intensity in its melody,
Where his had no harmony when most intense,
Where hers was too reflective,
And his poetry was spoiled by sighs,
And her verse was trivial,
And his poetry was not understood,
And her poetry was ruined by its rebuke,
His poetry had too many odors,
Her poetry took off for the moon,
His verse had too many pauses,
Her poetry overslept,
His poetry believed the blurbs,
Her verse had no verse,
His poetry died in purple liquid,
Hers died in the plains,
His died upon a glacier,
Hers was a fiddle with no bow,
His was a bow with no fiddle,
Her poetry had too much ale,
His chant trampled his thought,
Hers killed her roses,
His died by its own monument,
Hers died in the mouth,
His died in the brain,
Hers had no house,
His had no sun,
But mine I feel will succeed,
Mine will be heard,
Like the murmuring of bees is heard,
And the single sigh of a lover is heard,
For the earth is kind because
There are echoes, and every sweet thing
Has a chance to touch the tongue,
To find the tip of the desperate tongue,
Or the heart, just as red,
Or the eye, the eye which strikes long distance,
Or the ear, your ear,
Which now listens to my song.

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