January 2014 - Comments Off on Prelude: RhymeRhythm

Prelude: RhymeRhythm

Graham Pirtle '14


Was I collected
Like the soft rhythms of your daily sweat.
In rhymes of work and rest, made constant.
Like the hymnal or forgiven.
Or did I emerge like darkness from the fire’s dying
Born like lines bare intersects
Without intention
Or the way the birds aloof on power lines
Flap in rustled, dusty bracing
Under swarming clouds.
Like the hands, circumpolar.
And if I had this fire in my head with
Restless hands, or if
I’ve been made to want it.
Or if I’ve struggled into something
I can only cross once.
The thought remains.
Did I move from wall to wall.
Did I smell like anything?


The slow trace of afternoon light,
The quiet amber of my bedroom’s door,
And August’s final day dims like a
Dark triangle.
I feel “dying alone”.
And quietly breathing.
And how long or why.
I walk along the ridge above the lake
And watch the smoking river of the sky,
The black mirror overhead.
I eat and then go out again.
I feel like the lightless center of a spinning vaccum,
Fierce Moloch and companion.
I Inherit this dust with fiery assumption.
I get far, far ahead of myself.
And I return to sleep.


These days I feel alone and fine.
There is everything I need.
Love falls deftly from every bin.
But there is that silent return.
I am enough. But I am thinking:
I am thinking of the possibilities of science.
I am thinking of smaller books and how
To make them.
I am thinking of how memory is not a trail of slugs, but a deepening hue.
And everything has the opportunity to scare me.
I am thinking of my girlfriend.
I am thinking of light in an absolute.
I am thinking        of trying to explain this.

Published by: in Issue 1: Fall 2013, Poetry, Volume 70

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