Friday, February 19, 2010

ghost stories

When I try to speak French, Italian spooks me,
less the form than the mood of it, the flighty rise and ebb.
People talk about phantom limbs, but rarely of the phantom itch.
The itch occurs, but what’s under it?
The song in my head this morning, a song I didn’t know I liked.
The parts haunt the sum.
The choir in the ostrich.
The goon in kangaroo.
Illness is a kind of haunting, too.
Of behavior, maybe, or a ghost in the genes.
The typewriter, too, is not extinct. It lives on
in street work, factories, rivers, in feet descending stairs.
My father’s boxy black one.
My electric Brother.
“Haunt” refers to a place a man can frequently be found.
He occupies it, fills, inhabits it, looking for something
he’ll never come home with.
In the house without children, the mind fills with children.


NE said...

In the words of the Prophet (Bono, I mean): "But I still haven't found what I'm looking for..."

Thus, we are like spirits during our short terms on earth, haunted by and haunted within our mortal coils, which itself is shadowed by Death.

Anyway, nice poetic snippets here. One or two may haunt you enough to grow into a poem! Get that typewriter out and staccato me a poem!

Jim Murdoch said...

A nice aphoristic quality to this. The last line is especially potent.

Kass said...

The home in your mind is many-storied.

rallentanda said...

No no...the sum haunts the ostrich who conducts the choir in parts to
exorcise the goon from the kangaroo.

SarahJane said...

it's mostly the future that haunts, imo.

I do think of the kangaroo as a goon. I'd want him on my side...

rallentanda said...

How very astute of you Sarah!

Peter said...

"The parts haunt the sum."

Dave at Via Negativa recently had reason to quote this stanza from Milosz's "Ars Poetica?":

"The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will."

The stanza is in the context of the narrator comparing a poet to a spiritualist.

For me, your poem develops a theme similar to Milosz's. You're even more playful than he is; the parts in your poem living in each other through associations:

"My father’s boxy black one.
My electric Brother."

This is quite an effective poem. Thank you for sharing it.

SarahJane said...

thanks peter. appreciate the comparison.... smile

BJeronimo said...

if a man can be judged by the company he keeps, you're quite a man. The rain in your purse serves as yoga for my mind. namaste.

SarahJane said...

It's the acrobatic animals.

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