Saturday, April 5, 2008

VMI Inaugural Poetry Seminar, Part II

In honor of Virginia Military Institute's Inaugural Poetry Seminar April 4-5, I offer a poem by Bruce Weigl:

Dead Man, Thinking

Snow geese in the light of morning sky,
exactly at the start of spring. I was
looking through the cracks of the blinds at my future which seemed
absent of parades, for which I was grateful,
and only yesterday

I watched what an April wind could do
to a body wrapped in silk,
though I turned my eyes away,
the way the teacher says,
once the beauty was revealed.

How long it takes to die, in the fifty-fifth year
is what I thought about today.
I told some truths so large, no one could bear to hear them.
I bow down to those who could not hear the truth.
They could not hear the truth because they were afraid
that it would open a veil into nothing.
I bow down to that nothing. I bow down to a single red planet
I saw in the other world’s sky,
as if towards some
fleshy inevitability.

I bow down to the red planet. I bow down
to the noisy birds, indigenous to this region.
Only sorrow can bend you in half
like you’ve seen on those whose loves have gone away.
I bow down to those loves.

by Bruce Weigl, courtesy of

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