Underneath (13)

By Jorie Graham b. 1950 Jorie Graham
needed          explanation
 
because of the mystic nature        of the theory
 
and our reliance          on collective belief
 
I could not visualize the end
 
the tools that paved the way broke
 
the body the foundation the exact copy of the real
 
our surfaces were covered
 
our surfaces are all covered
 
actual hands appear but then there is writing
 
in the cave       we were deeply impressed
 
as in addicted to results
 
oh and dedication training     the idea of loss of life
 
in our work we call this emotion
 
how a poem enters into the world
 
there is nothing wrong with the instrument
 
as here I would raise my voice but
 
the human being and the world cannot be equated
 
aside from the question of whether or not we are alone
 
and other approaches to nothingness
 
(the term “subject”)(the term “only”)
 
also opinion and annihilation
 
(the body’s minutest sensation of time)
 
(the world, it is true, has not yet been destroyed)
 
intensification      void
 
we are amazed
 
uselessness is the last form love takes
 
so liquid till the forgone conclusion
 
here we are, the forgone conclusion
 
so many messages transmitted they will never acquire meaning
 
do you remember          my love my archive
 
touch me (here)
 
give birth to       a single idea
 
touch where it does not lead to war
 
show me    exact spot
 
climb the stairs
 
lie on the bed
 
have faith
 
nerves wearing only moonlight lie down
 
lie still patrol yr cage
 
be a phenomenon
 
at the bottom below the word
 
intention, lick past it
 
rip     years
 
find the burning matter
 
love allows it (I think)
 
push past the freedom (smoke)
 
push past     intelligence (smoke)
 
whelm      sprawl
 
(favorite city)   (god’s tiny voices)
 
hand over mouth
 
let light arrive
 
let the past strike us and go
 
drift        undo
 
if it please the dawn
 
lean down
 
say      hurt      undo
 
in your mouth be pleased
 
where does it say
 
where does it say
 
this is the mother tongue
 
there is in my mouth a ladder
 
climb down
 
presence of world
 
impassable       gap
 
pass
 
I am beside myself
 
you are inside me       as history
 
We exist         Meet me

Jorie Graham, “Underneath (13)” from Swarm. Copyright © 1999 by Jorie Graham. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Source: Swarm (The Ecco Press, 1999)

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Poet Jorie Graham b. 1950

Subjects Living, The Mind, Love, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries

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