Friday, August 11, 2006

Quiet lately, and an Alice Friman poem

I haven't had much to say lately, here or anywhere. I'm not sure why, but I'm just going to ride it out and trust that the words will return.

Meanwhile, here's a poem by someone else.

Northwest Flight #1173
     We guessed your silent passage
by the phosphorescence in your wake.
At dawn we found you stranded on the rocks.
--Stanley Kunitz
We sit on the tarmac in Indianapolis.
Four hours, five, punctuated by coffee
and too small cakes on miniature trays.
The rain taps at the rows of little windows --
the only recognition from the outside world
that we are there -- while we,
like the ark on drizzling Ararat,
wait for the levels to go down: the generators
to work. I read poetry and think of whales.
A beached body, its grunts and squeaks,
small tracks like the flashing instrument panel
that measures the dying of a great interior.

I remember last August when I saw one
trailing phosphorescence off Provincetown:
the long languorous arc of the body dipping
in and out like a needle hemming the seas,
while circling birds above the blowhole
announced the repeated baptism of tonnage,
the metamorphosis of breath to rainbow.

Transferred to another plane, rocking at last
on the runway, all windsocks go, the great wings
spread out over their humming eggs of energy,
we lift, shuddering through fog, to where the sun
pumps above our small geometric lives, and I
wonder as we climb, buoyant in our blindness,
if we too want -- like a silver needle freed
of thread -- entrance into insubstantial air.

--Alice Friman, from Inverted Fire (BkMk Press, 1997)

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