Five Points, Vol. 2 No. 3Spring / Summer 1998
From Charles Wright, “That’s the way a lot of the people I admire are. They just read. I don’t. I walk around a lot. I, on the other hand, walk around. I look at things, look at paintings, look at reproductions. I’m much more interested in the visual.”
Ellen Bryant Voigt
High winds flare up and the old house shudders.
The dead should just shut up. Already
they’ve ruined the new-plowed field:
it looks like a grave. Adjacent pine-woods,
another set of walls: in that dark room
a birch, too young to have a waist,
practices sway and bend, slope and give.
And the bee at vertical rest on the outside pane,
belly facing in, one jointed limb crooked
to its mouth, the mouth at work—
my lost friend, of course, who lifelong
chewed his cuticles to the quick. Likewise
Jane who calls from her closet of walnut and silk
for her widower to stroke her breasts, her feet,
although she has no breasts, she has no feet,
exacting pity in their big white bed.
The dead themselves are pitiless—
they keen and thrash, or they lodge
in your throat like a stone, or they descend
as spring snow, as late light, as light-struck dust
rises and descends—frantic for more, more of this earth,
more of its flesh, more death, oh yes, and a few more
thousand last vast blue cloud-blemished skies.