by Michael Heller


. .



To think a man might dream against this
This something simpler than metaphor

The world
Which spoke back
In facts, to him

That heavy pageantry

Yet when the life or when the bed
Was empty
He'd lay his head
Among the voices of the dead

It was his child and his childhood
It was coats and books
Heaped in a room
Toys and an ache


They come here
To repeal a northern drabness

To find frivolity
A recompense of straw hats
Of colorful clothes

They want the sunlight
Which dispels the chill

But the hard glare withers
The eye slits on death

Watching the wave's glitter
As it eats away the shore

Only time itself is the obdurate
Against which the heart leaps

And the white hotels
Are like bone against the sky

This was no one's future
No one's dream

Only the poor power
To make a dream imaginable


Loss is more complex than gain
Though neither completely understood.
One remembers
He was five, six, seven years old.
To the fact of the memory
The memory stands
As an axe to wood. Wood, ourselves,
In the streamings and contours,
The roughened gain.

Make a mark on me.

Copyright © 2004 by Michael Heller

Michael Heller: Exigent Futures: New and Selected Poems
Salt Publishing
Cambridge, UK
Copyright © 2003, Michael Heller

This is a cooperative presentation by
The Institute of Broken and Reduced Languges
And Light and Dust Anthology of Poetry