Twenty-four Logics in Memory of Lee Hickman

By Michael Palmer b. 1943 Michael Palmer
The bend in the river followed us for days
and above us the sun
doubled and redoubled its claims
 
Now we are in a house
with forty-four walls
and nothing but doors
 
Outside the trees, chokecherries, mulberries and oaks
are cracking like limbs
We can do nothing but listen
 
or so someone claims,
the Ice Man perhaps, all enclosed in ice
though the light has been shortening our days
 
and coloring nights the yellow of hay,
scarlet of trillium, blue of block ice
Words appear, the texture of ice,
 
with messages etched on their shells:
Minna 1892, Big Max and Little Sarah,
This hour ago
 
everyone watched as the statues fell
Enough of such phrases and we’ll have a book
Enough of such books
 
and we’ll have mountains of ice
enough to balance our days with nights
enough at last to close our eyes
 

Michael Palmer, "Twenty-four Logics in Memory of Lee Hickman" from At Passages. Copyright © 1995 by Michael Palmer.  Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: At Passages (New Directions, 1995)

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Subjects Living, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Reading & Books