Monday, February 13, 2006
Here are four small reasons why today I bought Yusef Komunyakaa’s book of poems Neon Vernacular:
I'm the warm-up act.
I punch myself in the face
across a makeshift stage.
Fall through imaginary trapdoors.
- from his poem "The Dog Act"
Encased in glass, a woman
opens her eyes. The room floods
with a century of bells.
Magnetic balls & sound of metal
seem enough to build a locomotive
moving through the room’s wooden bones.
- from his poem “Passions”
How can love heal
the mouth shut this way?
Say something worth breath.
- from his poem “Safe Subjects”
First, worms begin with a man’s mind.
Then they eat away his left shoe
to answer his final question.
His heart turns into a golden thimble of ashes,
his bones remind bees of honeycomb,
he falls back into himself like dirt into a hole,
his soul fits into a matchbox
in the shirt pocket
of his brother’s well-tailored uniform.
-from his poem “In the Background of Silence”