Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pushing My High-Pitched Yip

author’s note:

This poem may give you the wrong expression.

I’m actually a visually-oriented person.

The poem chronicles the sweet excruciation of developing my auditory sense.


With my ears all aglow
I’m having an affair
with the tree by the street

--the tree sushing longingly
as the wind
lifts its dress.

I have already had
many liaisons with the water
–-that appears so insubstantial, so thin--
yet thickly layers its purls
among the white rocks
until I’m dizzy with listening.

I am opened/ravished
by the strangeness of sounds
--reaped by the talking waves
rushing through morning wheat

unable to bear any more
I lie fetus-curled,
naked in the gurgles
of rainbow-reflecting

Inside the tree by the street
a bird keeps throwing out its call.
Whip sharp.  Unstoppable.
Apparently impelled
by the same energy
that pushes coyote’s
high-pitched yip

But though the bird sound
goes deep, it never goes
deep enough--never quite enough
to satisfy completely.  My ears wait--
strain--for the next hard cry--
          short engine whistle
          short strong
          short engine whistle
          short strong

--the bird sweetens
its torture
by taking a break
to ruminate--

then stabs again:

short engine whistle...

short strong

Pleasure is such irritation:
sounds are never constant.
Except for that ocean rumble
underlying everything.
To bathe my head in that sea sound
I have to go behind closed doors
to the reservoir in the cellar.

But for those other sounds
I must stretch myself, deepen myself
until I hurt to bursting

--and yet it’s still

never enough,
never enough.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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