Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Colin Morton

The Man Who Left

The man who left his library
sorted and boxed in my basement
and walked off into the snow

The man who left his briefcase
briefs clothes meds and spare glasses
might have bought Ignatow’s Collected for this poem

– “The Suicide” – marked and underlined
with question marks framing the words
“I am not curious about death.”

Or this one to which the book falls open:
“He got his friends to agree to shoot him
standing against a stone wall.”

It’s a voice I’ve heard on recordings of the dead
and I’m torn between curiosity and the violent
impulse to stop the machine.

But the book is comfortable in my hands
like the calm ironical voice of the poet
and in an idle moment I let it

fall open to this line and smile:
“So I shall be killed and I will weep in my grave
missing the meaningless.”


Black Ice

You didn’t see this coming but
there’s no way to back out now

Steer into the skid
look for traction on snow

Don’t lock the brakes or it’s all
gone to smash

Have  matches, candles, blankets with you
If you’re stuck in a snow bank

that blocks the exhaust
don’t run the motor for heat

Open the door if you can
Breathe fresh cold air

Look up and be glad
you can see the stars


No comments:

Post a Comment