Remembering is a steep climb
to a box sealed in granite.
Raise your eyes. There is new weather
heading East. Hand over hand
is best. Call out my name–I may
hear you. A volcano lived here.
You can slip on basalt. I know
your shoulders ache. Rest.
Sit right next to the past.
Here are all the nouns: people,
places, and things. Verbs
are actions, but frozen. Here
are the 50s, before interstates.
The family is driving to Nebraska.
You may join them if you wish.
On the way to Kindergarten, your
mother holds your hand. Curtie
died of polio, but there he is.
A girl named Evelyn. Look
for your birth in the corner.
Here comes language, waking up
on the Savannah. New oceans
pour on boiling rock.
This poem grabbed me right away and kept me on an edge. there is a chronology that halts with your birth and then continues back into a remote time. Too remote from the poem’s center? I’m not sure, but it broke my reverie. I wanted the poem to neatly end with your birth. I mean, If you wanted to, you could go back to the big bang, but at that would be an cooler distance from that sweet, slightly nostalgic/elegiac mood where you out-do Koser, I think. Also, I am required to go from this revery to a more abstract mood as the poem shoots into reverse eternity in line 20. Aside from all that, this is right up there with your best! When is the next book coming out?
From: john mann poems Reply-To: john mann poems Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at 4:21 PM To: Jesse Singerman Subject: [New post] Go Back, Pilgrim
WordPress.com johnmannpoems posted: “Remembering is a steep climb to a box sealed in granite. Raise your eyes. There is new weather heading East. Hand over hand is best. Call out my name–I may hear you. A volcano lived here. You can slip on basalt. I know your shoulders ache. R”
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