Shapes of Self

 I know how the clouds fall into place.
And it matters now most of all because it is over.
Put all your tears back into the pockets of your brain, put back
The shadows and fevers, put away the stubborn impossible
Flowers, the trembling,
The not yet beaten-
The sudden is spent
Without preparation,
Like a crescent of light that holds the moon
in place.
And it matters now most of all.
We haul the ingenuity of our lives,
In shapes of self that cannot keep pace.
The pain is such that we will have to wobble home
Uncanny with bliss.
And we are better for it.
This sorrow is ample
And bright as it is blue,
This sorrow is simple,
Hardly here and hardly true.
And it matters now most of all.
Against this city smothered in machines
That pretends it’s not a ghost.

16 thoughts on “Shapes of Self

  1. Quite the poem, isn’t it, Bob.
    A portuguese-language author whose name I can’t quite recall wrote something along these lines:
    “I hold my destiny in my hands and yet I feel free to invent: I follow a hidden lethal line. I’m forced to search for a truth that goes beyond me”
    That is perhaps an apt description for the emotional asperity here accited. Only perhaps. This is a most unjust thing. This thing. To make something of it, don’t you think? It fails so often. You have been writing marvellously, I wish I could appreciate it more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you João for the kind words. Yes, it is difficult. And the quote has much to say of that. And yes, it often fails. But that’s why we do it. “I follow a hidden lethal line.” Those words are sublime. I haven’t read much of Portuguese poets, except Pessoa. I think I need to change that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not Portuguese, but Portuguese-speaking. She is named Clarice Lispector, and that quote is from Hour of the Star; she is Brazilian, you see, and I do not wish to rob that from her, since it is ever-so important.
        I sometimes remember lines of things but not who wrote them; sometimes authors without their lines. I did confirm the original text, however, and it is most definitely her.
        You should read her. I think you’d very much like what she has to unsay.


  2. Hi from Czech… Your verse ,, Against this city smothered in machines
    That pretends it’s not a ghost. ” ….
    they are so accurate for this did it, I didn’t read the words, I experienced them … I’m just writing an e-mail to my girl, I was half clinically dead a year ago and she saved my life …
    I look in the e-mail, I’m glad you liked something from me … your poem is …. very special, congratulations, seriously, when you have something amazing in front of you, you know, some instinct in yourself … that’s exactly what it is your poem..even if I’m not a good Englishman … I translated it to my liking … maybe it’s more amazing for me … thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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