Monday, 4 July 2011

Poetry Quebec

Four poems were published on the Poetry Quebec website, on July 1.

Jack Hannan: 4 poems

There was a form of opening outward in our thinking,
which seemed very real and became
a thing that one person
could actually give to another, this lasted
for a long time, until it lost some of its liveliness
and grew a little crazy, without change, into a sort of abuse, nearly gestural, though there can be no blame in it, the night
gathers into its hours the stars and your coming home
in and out of the light of each post, your speed
is a naming that draws
those white lines across the sky, pulling day
through its sieve down around you until morning, now
the anxiety shakes itself off
again, to be remembered only obscurely
as a star, a phrase,
in the odd wake-up calm, lemon-tasty, and coffee,
an old friend
reappears, and you allow yourself the thought that
this is the one who can really know me, somehow
the patience you must find
is right there, like the light in a pumpkin, it is given
over to you to understand the pictures
through their touch, the singing lessons ask more   
questions than they answer
to you, shy horse,
day after day my door has been open, and I'd say now
nothing has changed, I have been nocturnal and that
altered nothing also, it only
made the  superstitions worse, he
removed his boots to collect mementos
that could be brought back, into glass, and another
plain meaning, hyphen or adjunct

In cities without evening

Isn't it rather difficult for a man
to keep quiet? I have the tape of your voice
and I play it often. I am thankful for the hindrance
you've put my way. Hear the night? Finally
 worry, in autumn
I took it down to match the wall
no longer so warmly graced
I would like to learn another way to approach you
who are so often with me, in my thoughts
along the roads here that we walk, I feel funny imagining
my furrowed brow and how
that must seem to you, have you forgotten how long
my arms really are? I still like
those bright colours as I seem to recall them (the red
hat and coat, for one) in the rice-paper morning, oh no
I hadn't meant to speak like that, the crisp
tinge or tingle in the air

 5 For example

Your fingers are long and thin and the colour of my heartbeat
Your fingers trace lines across the sand,
Your fingers draw astonishing moments
Your fingers curl slightly, your nails
tapping the surface of existence
clear and hard
And you are not patient
Your fingers are my phenomenological refutation
Your fingers are more than my memory has brought to the surface
Your fingers are the directions
Your fingers are this night
Your fingers are the sounds of the wind through the trees in Rome
Your fingers stretch across a month of afternoons
And the doors swing open and are tied with string
Your fingers are the breeze soothing the spine of a stupid talking head
Your fingers are the technical healing of electrical patter, silence
Your fingers are the arrows of voyages
That are never said out loud
I am curious and I wonder about disappearing and
Your fingers with one oval silver ring trace a long suggestive line across the map
from here to, say, anywhere along the Atlantic coast
your fingers covered with the taste of sea salt

Assume a void

Assume a void exists without
the hands of your own need, and already
something moves toward filling it,
so even in that silence you can trust
plain song, what felt like nothing, becoming.
The character of that silence moves out into the clear
of the valley, the lights, the silence
is of listening before you go on, as it comes
into your head, a young girl's sleepy eyes closing
at midnight, dreaming
the attraction of things, the mountains, the lovely
textures of the distances she will travel. Someone sings
her, and she dreams my whole world, the song
mustn't end before the dreaming.

These poems are from Jack Hannon's book of poems Some Frames, Cormorant Books, 2011

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