Monday, February 1, 2010

Anthony Lawrence

In Berlin

where pigeons take flight
and circle the square in Alexanderplatz,
a car alarm does not sound
like the released pressure of the blood
in the head of someone called Isats
who, it's now known, was a man
that walked and talked backwards
through his life, emotionally and historically,
even through the letters of his name -
and of his long poem
about revealing the missing "in"
from the word "former",
there are many who still believe
it sounds like another kind of alarm,
or at least the memory of one -
the kind that Isats might have raised,
in some other time, in East Berlin.


There's been a lot said about this -
in the frames of movies when you slow them down,
inside the waves of radios,
in the distress calls metal fillings receive,
in the idle talk wind translates
and then makes personal,
and how it's not the sea you hear
inside a shell, but the passage of your blood -
a whistling speleologist
descending below the spiral of your ear.

-both poems previously published at MiPOesias

Your Letters

I can’t smell the oil-stained deck ropes
on the last boat leaving
the last town of the Cinque Terra,
or see the highlights in your hair
as you pass the Roman wall in Lucca,
but I can see you’re in a hurry –
the broken flourishes of your thinking
as you run for a train, the word because
reduced to bc in all your correspondence.
I can’t see you there, in that postcard
version of your dreaming, overseas
or when you returned to a life
doubled by keeping your options open
like a wound gone septic from neglect.
Today I see your name on my calendar.
Your birthday will come and go,
untroubled by gift or word, though under-
scored by this certainty: lost in the poor
terrain of your grammar, you worked
a moulting brush through muddy pigments
to abbreviate me.

The Sound of a Life

In frames of elapsed time
and contractions of deep sea light,
an open water dance
between science and bivalve
is bloodflow and the muted sound
of a life hinged and weighted
to its own design.
Behind the shelled meniscus
of a marine biologist’s faceplate,
where assessments of fact and beauty
play across her eyes, under pressure
she hears the blue mazurka
of loss and non-attachment
and she outbreathes what remains
in her tank to understand it

-both poems previously published at Mascara Literary Review

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