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  • Rosendo Makabali @2:58PM, 2014-08-11
    Tags: Henri Cole,   


    “Twilight” by Henri Cole

    There’s a black bear
    in the apple tree
    and he won’t come down.
    I can hear him panting,
    like an athlete.
    I can smell the stink
    of his body.

    Come down, black bear.
    Can you hear me?

    The mind is the most interesting thing to me;
    like the sudden death of the sun,
    it seems implausible that darkness will swallow it
    or that anything is lost forever there,
    like a black bear in a fruit tree,
    gulping up sour apples
    with dry sucking sounds,

    or like us at the pier, somber and tired,
    making food from sunlight,
    you saying a word, me saying a word, trying hard,
    though things were disintegrating.
    Still, I wanted you,
    your lips on my neck,
    your postmodern sexuality.
    Forlorn and anonymous:
    I didn’t want to be that. I could hear
    the great barking monsters of the lower waters
    calling me forward.

    You see, my mind takes me far,
    but my heart dreams of return.
    Black bear,
    with pale-pink tongue
    at the center of his face,
    is turning his head,
    like the face of Christ from life.
    Shaking the apple boughs,
    he is stronger than I am
    and seems so free of passion—
    no fear, no pain, no tenderness. I want to be that.

    Come down, black bear,
    I want to learn the faith of the indifferent.

    • Henri Cole, “Twilight” from Blackbird and Wolf. Copyright © 2008 by Henri Cole. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, http://www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved.

    Caution: Users are warned that this work is protected under copyright laws and downloading is strictly prohibited. The right to reproduce or transfer the work via any medium must be secured with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

    Source: Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems, 1982-2007 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010)

  • Spread @1:26AM, 2014-04-12
    Tags: , Henri Cole,   

    Poetry as a beehive 

    “At my desk, I am probably a packing bee, striving to put enough pressure on language to transform it into poetry, regurgitating my nectar again and again until honey is formed. I once had a beloved teacher who said verse (a late Old English word) reverses itself, and goes around and around. In contrast, prose (a Latin word) proceeds and moves forward without repetition.” —Henri Cole

    Via The New Yorker

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