Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day 24--Four Forms for Addressing the Tired Eye

1) First (person)
I am sick of seeing, tired of my eye, 
of its clouds and precisions.

So I sit on purpose in the dark on my back porch and listen
to a woman I have never met play a violin.

I have come outside to enter my skin, to be blessed
in my skin by the lightest wind of April.

If I opened my eyes, I could see the violinist in her apartment,
the light behind her ponytail, the sway in her hip, her music stand.

But I prefer tonight her sound, her repetitions of the same raw
passage, a run in a movement of Brahms or someone like him.

All day long I have looked at paintings, at women, at men,
at books, at plates full of food. All night long I have remembered,

put them together in ways that require fine stitches. I know this
sounds like a poem. I know how to make my tongue turn

a word around so many ways it feels like a thing. So I am grown
sick as well of my mouth. But my ear so full

of the student’s song, and the air filled as well with her practice,
and my arms in the breeze, and my ass on this chair

matter as if I were, myself, a word, as if I were, tonight,
a sight for sore eyes.

2) Second (person)
 If you opened your eyes, you could see me here in my apartment,
the light behind my head, the score on my music stand.

How does it sound, these repetitions of the same few measures?
Do you know the music of Edward Elgar, how it can feel,

at times, like Brahms, at times, like a world? All day long
I have practiced this passage in my mind.

All night long I have worked until it sounds, almost, like a poem.

Do you know how to make your ear turn a single pitch around
so many ways it feels like a word?

Are you in love with what I can do with my hands
on the bow and the strings?

My open window might seem an invitation. I am sorry.

What should I make of your heavy head tilted back in the dark?

From here, I have been watching you breathe while I practice.
From here what can be seen is clear enough. It could nearly be day.

3) First Persons (plural)
We have grown sick of seeing, tired of our eyes.

So we sit together in the dark on our porch and listen
to a woman practice a violin.

Could we have stayed inside in the light and still entered
our skin, alive like this in the lightest winds of April?

If we opened our eyes, we could see her apartment,
could see one another watching her in the dark.

We both say for a moment that we believe this music
is Brahms, a Concerto we heard once in Chicago.

We both know what we do with our days, how to take a body
or a term and turn it a few hundred ways

until it feels no longer like a thing. Are we in love
with all we do with our hands?

4) Imperative (didaction)
Go out in the dark and close your eyes for once.

Sit on purpose in the night on a back porch and listen
for someone you have never met, or imagine her

as she plays a violin. Enter your skin. Let it be blessed
by the lightest winds of April and her song.

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