Thursday, September 09, 2004

David Swanger: What the Wing Says

i just read an article for my lit mag class on poetry that included this poem, and i love it. and the whole class agreed it is a fabulous poem, and i just wanted to share it with you fabulous people. (p.s. class on the 6th floor of a very hot chicago loop building with the el flying by out the window every 5 minutes is great... but it's no dungeon)

What the Wing Says

The wing says, "I am the space behind you,
a dent in the fender, hands you remember
for the way they touched you. You can look
back and song will still throb. I am air
moving ahead, the outermost edge of desire,
the ripple of departure and arrival. But

I will speak more plainly: you think you are
the middle of your life, your own fulcrum,
your years poised like reckonings in the balance.
This is not so: dismiss the grocer of your soul.
Nothing important can be weighed, which is why
I am the silver river of your mornings and
the silver lake curled around your dark dreams.
I am not wax nor tricks stolen from birds.

I know you despair at noon, when sky overflows
with the present tense, and at night as you lie
among those you have wronged; I know you have failed
in what matters most, and use your groin to forget.
Does the future move in only one direction?
Think how roots find their way, how hair spreads
on the pillow, how watercolors give birth to light.
Think how dangerous I am, because of what I offer you."

3 Comments:

Blogger Siddie said...

ktb, I absolutely LOVE this poem! Wow. Funny how some things appear at just the right time. When we think our friends are farthest from us, we find them at our sides. I needed this today.
Love you!

1:14 AM | Permalink  
Blogger KTB said...

sid, i'm so glad you liked this poem. i absolutely adored it from the first second i read it... but no one commented on it! i was hoping it hit someone as much as it hit me... miss you sid. :)

12:40 AM | Permalink  
Blogger Tanja said...

This is by far one of my favorite poems of all time. I think I discovered it in Poets & Writers years ago. I saved the magazine and have gone back to it again and again. I never tire of it.

My favorite line is "dismiss the grocer of your soul/nothing important can be weighed." My dad was a grocer and was always stressing balance, so that line resonates particularly well. ;-)

I love, too, the organic quality of "how roots find their way/ how hair spreads out on a pillow."

Okay, I'll stop raving now. :)

Thanks for posting the poem!

10:33 PM | Permalink  

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