Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TIE-DOWN OF A BONSAI, by MARVIN BELL



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TIE-DOWN OF A BONSAI, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A ladder propped against a rainbow
Subject(s): Bonsai; Language; Music & Musicians; Rainbows; Words; Vocabulary


A ladder propped against a rainbow:
We were told that life waited to exist;
death waited to be that which was and isn't.
Language, of and by the living, cannot express
our absence, but readies itself in stitches,
erasures, the dead skin adhering to a bandage,
untellings, retellings, revisions, reversions,
the resonant vacancy of interlude,
the qua of music, the held air in the audience
just prior to coughing, the lost vacuum
of a black hole, the nuclei of tears --
it is all a performance, from the tie-down of a bonsai
to the reddening of apples,
from the talk of Absurd Phenomenology
to the passionate kiss,
from angels on the head of a pin to quantum physics,
from the conceptual to the pre-conceptual,
from the environmentalist to the survivalist,
from the garden to the slaughterhouse.
Listen for an introduction to Creation:
a horn sounds in the background,
increases, at first each frequency of the whole
seems like the plucking of a single hair,
but the fog, which does not lift, filters alarm
from the tighter strings, so that we hear a fatherly,
throaty, fibrous drone. And in
the harbors of dust, this trembling of sound waves
begins our story. From the lightest touch,
imprinted in the slightest disturbance,
a history commences that will lead to thunder and roses,
to the beginning of each kiss and to the end of each kiss,
to each particular in a long line of particulars,
every one with its special claim
except when one may stand, as now, for innumerable others,
stranded perhaps past anything we can imagine
unless it be a stone thrown into the dark,
the inside of a sound,
tomorrow a ladder propped against a rainbow.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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