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Thursday, October 18, 2012

13

"Light chaff and falling leaves or a pair of feathers"

on the ground can spook a horse who won’t flinch when faced
with a backhoe or a pack of Harleys. I call it “horse

ophthalmology,” because it is a different kind of system—
not celestial, necessarily, but vision in which the small,

the wispy, the lightly lifted or stirring threads of existence
excite more fear than louder and larger bodies do. It’s Matthew

who said that the light of the body is the eye, and that if
the eye is healthy the whole body will be full of light. Maybe

in this case “light” can also mean “lightness.” With my eyes of
corrupted and corruptible flesh I’m afraid I see mostly darkness

by which I mean heaviness. How great is that darkness? Not
as great as the inner weightlessness of horses whose eyes perceive,

correctly I believe, the threat of annihilation in every windblown
dust mote of malignant life. All these years I’ve been watching

out warily in obvious places (in bars, in wars, in night cities and
nightmares, on furious seas). Yet what’s been trying to destroy

me has lain hidden inside friendly-seeming breezes, behind
soft music, beneath the carpet of small things one can barely see.

The eye is also a lamp, says Matthew, a giver of light, bestower
of incandescent honey, which I will pour more cautiously

over the courses I travel from now on. What’s that whisper?
Just the delicate sweeping away of somebody’s life.

—Poetry, Oct 2012

Gail Wronsky is the author of ten books of poetry, prose, and translations, including 'So Quick Bright Things' (What Books, 2010), 'Poems for Infidels' (Red Hen Press, 2004), and 'Dying for Beauty' (Copper Canyon Press, 2000).



13 Comments / Post A Comment

Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

I really love how the Hairpin has been posting poetry, even if I don't take the time to comment on every single one. This was especially beautiful!

jhonsons

this is so adorable@j

Cat named Virtute

Ohhh. Ohhhhh.

There are not adequate words today for how much I love this, how right it is.

Queen of Pickles

Man, parts of this are like the conversation in the comments of this morning's post about photos of boys sent off to war, and the light in their eyes -

It’s Matthew

who said that the light of the body is the eye, and that if
the eye is healthy the whole body will be full of light. Maybe

in this case “light” can also mean “lightness.” With my eyes of
corrupted and corruptible flesh I’m afraid I see mostly darkness

by which I mean heaviness. How great is that darkness?

whimseywisp

SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS. GUUUHHHH

Chanticleer

Well! This is lovely.

()
()

Excellent line breaks. I especially like this one: "by which I mean heaviness. How great is that darkness? Not/as great as the inner weightlessness of horses whose eyes perceive,"

Format-wise, I'm really glad this poem isn't wrapped around an image. Shaping matters.

4and20blkbirds

@() Agreed, much better to have no image with it. Lovely lovely. I don't read enough poetry these days

Nutmeg

"With my eyes of
corrupted and corruptible flesh I’m afraid I see mostly darkness

by which I mean heaviness. How great is that darkness? Not
as great as the inner weightlessness of horses whose eyes perceive,

correctly I believe, the threat of annihilation in every windblown
dust mote of malignant life."

UGGGHHHHHHHH I CANNOT EVEN THIS LINE/THAT SENTENCE AHHHH

staircases

This was wonderful. I'm not usually a reader of poetry - thanks Hairpin!

amirite

Thank for bringing poetry into my life on the reg, I do not seek it out as much as I should.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

This was really lovely. Will definitely seek out more of her work!

scojo

accessible yet delicate. yay

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