Today's poem is by Bob Hicok

Deeply Impersonal

This is a good way to take life in. The eyes.
The pours. I sent my mouth to France
one summer to complete its education,
it never came back, leaving me to improvise
with the openings God gave me. That's too personal
too fast, isn't it? An American habit. Italy,
the Netherlands: I only mention other countries
because I've mentioned two already and two
is a list, a list aspires to become a sentence,
a sentence a paragraph, a paragraph a memoir
these days: "I have won my cracked bells
as jingle as I can." My story begins
to tire. I see pear trees are in bloom, thirteen
in a row, an unlucky designation, the row.
Thirteen in a cluster, in a hurry, in a white cloud
that will lead to no actual pears. I don't tell them
they're infertile of what tastes good in certain salads,
nor should you, nor should anyone point out to me
what my head looks like from behind.
I'm better off not knowing
the state capitals, or only those
that appear naturally from childhood Montpelier,
Zug Island-when I was asked to memorize
everything. No wonder one night I stood at the end
of my parents' bed, convinced their sleep was death,
and that if I slept, all I'd been asked to hold
the exports from Brazil, formulae for volume
and mass, presidents and proclamations-would be lost,
and I would have killed the world. What do I think
of the all you can eat buffet? That's the spirit.
That's the job. And you, unnamed sparrow,
I'll name you Peter, though tomorrow, if you return,
I'll call you Alice, and on the third day,
when Jesus rose, He looked around and thought,
"that stone was heavy," and resolved to ask, once home,
after some rest, if the cross was necessary,
a question we'd all like to ask, I think,
if I can speak for the group, here, on this occasion
of four blackbirds flying past my wondering
what it would be like to be the fifth.

Copyright © 2009 Bob Hicok All rights reserved
from The Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002-2009 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved