from ‘Metaphor and Simile—24 poems at year’s end'
A metaphor appeared,
a form of action, while we were reading
just below the trees. It made
a human & nonhuman meaning....
(not sure what nonhuman meaning means)
So, here we are now. Unknowing beauty among
the brutal days. All year they sat out
reading, each to the other, in their skins. Days
of drought in the west,
written of. Writers
are stressed most of the time, trying
with many forms of life to make energy among.
Dry months of people reading, greenshield
lichen reading to the fence. Indicator
species. Indicators of health, in the twilight
of a terrible year, crepuscular—
a Stevens word. Acts of gather & burn (what now
is called the undercommons). Rosa Parks &
Róża Luxemburg, the violence they endured
amid the infinite failures, unbearable
if you read the histories. To keep a little
hope but how: the young. Not to drown while
trying to register the forms of suffering beyond
or in the the, as Stevens wrote,
the mixture of the dump. To love, despite
collapse, the life forms
reading to the wood... frayed ends of
days. Days in the mind. Wood mind. Science
also reading to the dream—
, , , , , , , , , , ,
Some people think lichen looks dead but it is alive in its
dismantling. Some call it moss. It doesn't matter what you call
it. Anything so radical & ordinary stands for something.
A simile sets up space for you to doubt
ever getting past the suffering...Rilke
Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn staying mostly
in his room & where if they cried out,
Who, if i cried out could hear the children killed...
A figure of destruction came to us & said,
such admirable life forms on the street as if love
grew black threads... To be with friends
you finally see, inside the grief year,
class grief, race grief, loss of love & rain. Ruffle lichen
spreading near the lake like similes.
(~i~ had not checked my phone...)
We need to talk. Wood mind. It’s not just about your
own little darling, the wife of the decomposers said...
Remember summer the poets
read aloud inside their skin where the undead meet the dead
Voices sliced across the dusk, black cilia,
to read to each other
in beauty in the dusk. to see black-edged
life forms on fences to lean against
ovals of energy
while people said listen in the modest dusk,
to register the horror
then to pass energy across.
Cortex K+ yellow, medulla K-, KC+ red to orange,
looks like punctuation while growing along, knowing
almost nothing, there are twin
sides to everything & the beautiful
wrong side is always listening...
These two 'journal poems' are from Brenda Hillman's series "Metaphor and Simile—24 poems
at year's end." You can read more from this series in Lana Turner here. That Lana Turner page
also includes several intriguing epigraphs and dedications for the series as a whole.