By Olena Kalytiak Davis
pulled up to prove you’re not
without a heart. The fevered understanding
offered from the barstool, from this side
of the confessional’s grate. The ardent
I’m-so-sorry, the willing I-hear-you,
as the gentle Samaritan you are
inconspicuously leans away from the crazed
whisper: My life’s so fucked up.
It’s just someone else’s violent
dying. It’s just your childhood friends stuck
in an oversized world. The crippled
talking. The exhausting
confiding. The not really
caring. It’s the simple fact that
what’s most touching
is the angle at which some old roof leans
against the sky. The shockingly thin
trees, the stunning mosaic
of light. The way the stars keep
into constellations. The way the moon’s
in the sky. What’s most heartbreaking
is this rib piercing this lung. That I’m
as breathless as this
over nothing. Wanting everything
bending, layered and resilient: the parquetry,
the click of heels like the stove
setting itself on fire: My friends,
it’s our hearts, we should be
walking around grabbing our hearts,
for what could be more burdened,
more efflorescent? Tell me, what’s
as unfolding, as spiked and as shooted
as this, our dissilient heart.
From: “And Her Soul Out of Nothing” by Olena Kalytiak Davis
dissilient - bursting open with force, as do some ripe seed vessels.
One simply cannot have too much Olena Kalytiak Davis. She's one of my favorite contemporary poets of all time. I went hunting in my poetry books (no small feat) for this book and couldn't find it. I know I have two hard copies, but they was nowhere to be found, (I tend to carry it around with me) so I had to use my Kindle copy (tee-hee) to post this. I know, I'm an addict.
I just returned from the library where I had a heated discussion with the librarian (fruitless---I know it's the 'higher ups' who decide which books to purchase) because there were like five books of poetry, mostly ancient, in the poetry section which used to have three full shelves of poetry. I had a horrendous vision of a future without poetry... So I keep buying it and hoarding it.
I saw a news piece last week about a bookless library (an oxymoron, right?) in San Antonio, Texas. It was a vile, cold, contemptible, scary-looking place with only row upon row of computers. I shudder thinking about it.
For those of you in the U.S., have a Happy Thanksgiving. I know I have much to be grateful for every moment of every day, poetry, books, friends and all.
Ah! on Thanksgiving day....
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
and the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
~John Greenleaf Whittier