Monday, April 6, 2009

"To No Music"

So it snowed, as it always does, in April, which is supposed to be spring. Here is my poem on the matter... Called "To No Music," it is taken from by third collection of poetry, Certifiable, which was published by Goose Lane Editions in 2001. (See details on this page.) I post it here as promised. Thanks to whoever asked for it!

To No Music

That is my quarrel with this country.
You hear them say: “April?
April? Spring’s on its way, come April.”
And, poor things, believe it too.
See them outside, toes blue
in some skemps little cotton skirt
well set on making what don’t go so, go so.
And think: this big April morning
it make as if to snow.

That is something that must
make a body consider: if you can’t
trust the way the world turn –
winter, spring, summer, autumn –
what you can trust?

When it reach April
and you been bussing your shirt
for eight straight month just
to keep warm, you in no mood
to wait one dege-dege day more.
Not when you poor
and cold in the subway
cold in the street
cold where you work
where you eat
where you sleep.

But you don’t get a peep
of protest from these
people. “Well, it’s late
this year,” they say, toes blue
peeping out the open-toe shoe,
and hug the meagre little skirt
tight round them, shivering
for all they worth.

They don’t agree with the coldness
and they don’t disagree;
they walk to no music
and that is misery.


FSJL said...

Snow last night, north of me, in the limestone
mountains that can fool you in the summer
when the hazy heat speaks of far tropic
places. And, down here, we pulled out the raas blankets
in April when blossoms cover the trees
and pollen thicker than snow on the ground.

clarabella said...

FSJL: What a precious response! Thank you so much! Maybe we could keep going and publish a little spring chapbook at the end! What do you think? Your 'raas' threads into "Will's Flowers" which I think I'll post today! 1Love

FSJL said...

It was just something I tossed off quickly in response to your far better poem.

Blank verse works surprisingly well even in short epigrammatic form.

If ever you're in Atlanta in April you'll discover that the fall of pollen is as thick, and sometimes seems thicker, than the winter snowfall.

clarabella said...

FSJL: When I was in the classroom, one did a starting off poetry exercise to encourage 'toss-offs'. Often they reach a place where the more carefully wrought poetry doesn't manage to get to. What the great poets succeed in doing, of course, is finding that place more times than not...

FSJL said...

That's true. Not that I'm a great poet.

clarabella said...

FSJL: Why make that judgment now? You have a whole life of poeting ahead of you! I'm going to try to post "Will's Flowers" now. A raas for a raas, and all that!