Monday, February 18, 2008


Density and dynamism.


Hospital copter skates south above the river:
urgency and ease in its glide and rotor hum.
Out of town, a girl has given her arms
to a thresher, or a passenger
rests half through a windshield.

Once, a truckful of police with clear
plastic shields sped away from city center
past a row of shops over basement apartments
where tenants ring chimes and light
candles in shrines every day.

Once, this place was on fire.
Once, under water. Once, this place
hurtled through a sudden dream
of light and heat—in form, unprecedented
in matter, all becoming of song.

Tower chimes and no one fails
to adore its orchestration. Songs pass in light
traffic. Arrangements slide toward jaywalkers,
café loiterers. All surfaces tend
to beautiful noise.

When lovers set the glass pipe down
on the bed stand of the rented room
a shaft of streetlight plays smoke and skin.
They exhale and descend into body.
Pace and pitch evolve.

A pattern of days drawn like a bow
over strings. Round wind in the throat of an oboe.
In the street, a wash of sound.
The cathedral rings the hour.
I take steady breath. I come to posture.

William Stobb

Nervous Systems
Penguin Books

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