Poem for Tuesday, May 29

May 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Solace/No Solace

Otherwise you can abide in discretion / or just plain bawl.

John Ashbery

Everyone dies is no solace and no solace he’s no longer in pain
you’re young enough to move on is no solace no solace certainly in
you’ll get over it knowing you couldn’t have saved him no solace
no solace in it wasn’t your fault and where in the words he’s in a
better place now is there solace?

*

Solace is slow in solace moment by moment is the weather report
the report of whether solace is the sad harrowing glance at his
picture once more or the smiling unviolence of recollection this or
that memory solace because it was particular and lush and only yours
and the dead man’s solace is so covetous or else it is universal an
opening and opening towards the little weird gestures people who know
solace choose one gives you a bird on a thin gold chain another holds
your feet in her hands and unabandons you in the discourse of solace
there is best no words solace locked fast in its own holy and dolorous
silences.

*

Terrible to think solace is so liquid in its attentiveness it must be sought
again and again there is no solace that says yes and yes and yes
lying down in your lap and curling permanence and sometimes solace
must be hunted in the forests of what it is not or fished for within the salt
and yet there are those mornings that solace just appears and you’ve done
nothing to court such irreverent peace but you lie inside it anyway solace
saying being worthy being perfect is no possible requirement solace says
accept it and for him too if he couldn’t locate or lean into solace for solace
can be generous and without criteria and lasting like a quality of light.

-Catherine Owen, from Steve Kulash & Other Autopsies (AngelHousePress, 2012)

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