Sunday, November 21, 2010

Without Mercy, the Rains Continued

by David St. John
The New Yorker, 11/8/2010

There had been
A microphone hidden

Beneath the bed
Of course I didn't realize it

At the time & in fact
Didn't know for years

Until one day a standard
Khaki book mailer

Arrived & within it
An old

Stained cassette tape
Simply labelled in black marker

"Him / Me / September, 1975"
& as I listened I knew something

Had been asked of me
Across the years & loneliness

To which I simply responded
With the same barely audible

Silence that I had chosen then


e said...

I'm seeking an answer to this poem. Do you have the key? Please let me know. Thank you

Beth Austin said...

When I first read it, I was trying to reconnect with someone I'd been in love with 25 years earlier. Both of us, despite our loneliness, unable to connect properly, either then or now. Maybe I was projecting onto this poem, but I saw it as presenting a similar dilemma: The speaker wishes, perhaps, that love would come into his life, but he's nonetheless unable to feel much (either time) for the one who's reached out to him.

Anonymous said...

Great post - Glad I cam across this blog. If there was a projection, it was probably a healing one. Poems create that space where projections can be dissolved. Or can do.

This is lovely.