Here’s an excerpt of a very cool poem of his, “Interrupted Meditation:”
Little green involute fronds of fern at creekside.
And the sinewy clear water rushing over creekstone
of the palest amber, veined with a darker gold,
thinnest lines of gold rivering through the amber
like—ah, now we come to it. We were not put on earth,
the old man said, he was hacking into the crust
of a sourdough half loaf in his vehement, impatient way
with an old horn-handled knife, to express ourselves.
I knew he had seen whole cities leveled: also
that there had been a time of shame for him, outskirts
of a ruined town, half Baroque, half Greek Revival,
pediments of Flora and Hygeia from a brief eighteenth-century
health spa boom lying on the streets in broken chunks
and dogs scavenging among them. His one act of courage
then had been to drop pieces of bread or chocolate,
as others did, where a fugitive family of Jews
was rumored to be hiding. I never raised my voice,
of course, none of us did. He sliced wedges of cheese
after the bread, spooned out dollops of sour jam
from some Hungarian plum, purple and faintly gingered.
Click here to read the rest.
I love the way the poem jumps around in a very stream-of-consciousness way, just like the title implies. And I love the little hidden daggers of emotional poignancy, like the image of the whitened chocolate, or the heaving his wife’s rib cage as she sobs. It’s like he keeps getting sideswiped by his own heart. Beautiful, powerful, and clever without being cloying. That’s what I like in a poem.