by Halifax
(set against Transfigured Night)
the form is three
two legs and between
it makes plurality
by standing apart
sound resounding
a clarion that is
unable to close the note
once it is imposed
a clamp pinches it in appraisal
presiding over a vanishment
on how it was
before it could have been
a wedge
a bridge
a measure
contractions linger
in ten minute increments
with thirty-five after five
compassed on the sundial
the letter casts a spell
makes one out of many
dividing every name it lends
from the whole out of which
it began
this eye looking down
studies the cauldron
lids wide lashes long
pencil point it is
scrawling the sky
in a study of clouds
a road almost
it narrows on the way
a mountain waits
to move in the distance
this page spread out
inside the tent
hosts saw horses
not seen since
pyramids under construction
were raised to blot out
the worship
of this headless woman
birthing everything
in the segments
a penumbra of space
one rung for the ladder
within reach
a nubile breast
with crowning teat
pert to cry with her child
it says open
through babies
that gasp to catch
mother’s eye
the easel as it stands
awaits a canvas
it stays acute
with the rest apart obtuse

5 thoughts on “A

  1. A complex, wide-spanning, imagery-rich outline of humanity, this is about an earth goddess “birthing everything,” an inevitability nevertheless concealing its origin, leading to civilization (“a wedge a bridge a measure”) moving mountains as a consequence, going on generation to generation, staying “acute” while what it engenders continues to spread “apart obtuse,” differentiated, disparate, unknowing. Quite an accomplishment on the poet’s part.

    1. Thank you for reading it and responding. I wrote this in an effort to explain my fascination with the letter A to my children (they think I am just weird). The specific format and logic took 2 years to develop. Actually writing it in the form you read now was attempted three separate times. This is the most successful of the three, in my humble opinion. I appreciate the editor lending the space for it’s dissemination to a broader audience.
      Apologies to those that agree with my children about me. Your indulgence in reading this to this point is generous.

  2. I’m unfamiliar with Schoenberg (‘Transfigured Night’), thanks for introducing him to me. i like the idea of a poem ‘set to’ music and then the poem makes mention of painting so we have quite a few modes of art expression going on here. ‘Transfigured Night’ really makes me wonder…into what? Well Night is obviously dark and brings to mind unhappiness, ill-fate, ignorance, and evil in some cases, but the impression i get from the music is yes, one of struggle, but struggle towards making this darkness or bad life experience (perhaps?) one that is ‘transfigured’ into a more positive life-fulfilling experience. So the poem (which i read while listening to the music), i would say mirrors the music in that it may delve into the shadows, linger a while, and then emerge equipped for the world. Anyways, i imagine Dane in his painter’s cove actually creating something on canvas while listening to this music and while writing this poem in his Big Chief Tablet of Poems. lol. Nicely done, sir.

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