David Mason

Issue #
October 3, 2017

The Soul of Reticence

                                           “There’s nothing more embarrassing than being a poet, really.”
                                                                                                                   —Elizabeth Bishop

No one has found it yet—is it a leaf
or a book? There are so many of both.
Is it a kind of weather, declaiming
the wish to disappear,
or at least move to another island?

“I want—now that it is too late—
to learn the names of everything.”
She made a kind of poetry
that sheathed its knives
in nets and cigarettes and nerves.

She’d like it here alone by the sea,
the wavering evergreens and wild rose
for friends. “Well, I suppose nobody’s
heart is really good for much
until it has been smashed to little bits.”

And I know what she’d make of this
homage, like Lowell’s, stuffed with quotes.
Try to immerse yourself in a world.
Try singing to a seal.
Try any trick to keep it real.

There is no previous item
Go back to Top Menu
There is no next item
Go back to Top Menu