empty wires / andrew mandelbaum


the blackbirds are slipping away
the wires empty stretch by stretch
eye by eye by eye the horizon goes blind
And i am bending wrist and soul to touch you through the bars

the stuttered memory of what i am relentlessly
claws the walls in it sleep
shivering out jagged dreams against the closing ring
a message on the edge of translation
dark feathers brush the tip of my tongue
in a familiar sequence just beyond recognition
And i am bending wrist and soul to touch you through the bars

i live in a city of starless nights and my sense of smell is blunt
and harmless
thirty three Chilean miners breathe dirt and piss 700 meters below
the desert
the State and the Company move heaven and earth for their release
this exceptional concern underlines the rule.

i have dug too much earth from beneath my desires
and my nose runs with the black soot even in my sleep
it's hard to dream with all the blackbirds leaving
she is asking why we all must die
And i am bending wrist and soul to touch you through the bars

hollow bones fly before the winter
without the blackbirds hope can fail
her questions tunnel deep inside me
yet airshafts glimmer in dark eyes
And i am bending wrist and soul to touch you through the bars

1 comment:

Ralph La Charity said...

As printed here some minor variations from the piece as spoken in the featured reader recording available to the right --- i believe such to be inevitable & remarkable & unknowable ultimately, a mystery of the transcription continuum, not exactly typos, more like hyper-echo otherlings. At any rate, this ethics-centric worrier poet of both sorrow & anger gives the lie : feature/open poetry readings are where we sigh in public at that which is highest & lowest of the heart's mindful evaporations, mindfully held to the rhythm of memory's own shady mirroring. The heart is a lonely hunter, she said....