Thursday, October 21, 2010

Timothy Donnelly poems


The comparison only went so far: the suffering
from which we had come to expect so much
remained mere suffering; the swamp due south

to which we had thought to compare it in our youth
stayed water choked in excess life, its voices
thoughtlessly forcing the same plump syllables

across the distance into windows furred with night.
But here in the room where we sit thinking that
if suffering had to enter our house, it should have

been the kind that sang, or else the kind from which
small shapes would zoom and circle the light
hanging in the middle of the room like a thought

whose fifteen petals open and whose opening we become
custodian to, here in the lotus of half-sleep, I am
beginning to forget where a comparison falls short.

----from his new book "The Cloud Corporation"



Demonstrate to yourself a resistance to feeling
unqualified despair by attempting something like
perfect despair embellished with hand gestures.


Take notice of the slow, practically imperceptible

changes always underway around or inside you like
tooth decay, apostasy, the accumulation of dust,
debt, the dead, and what the dead are preparing to say

if offered a seat at the table.


Offer the dead a seat at the table. Now take it away:
just pull it out from under them. Hypnosis is like deep

focus with a sleeper hold on self-critique.


Soon one of the dead will conduct an infinitely slow

white envelope across the unlit tabletop, a human sigh
through a wall of exhaust. The letter itself will be left
unsigned, but you’d recognize that handwriting anywhere.

----Columbia Poetry Review, No. 22, Spring 2009

No comments: