Dreams make a significant appearance in both this Richard Siken poem and his other piece that I posted a few months ago. So this may be influenced by the fact that it’s quite late, and I’m growing sleepier (and less coherent) by the minute, but I find Siken’s poems sort of dreamlike themselves. Threaded tightly with images and assertions both head-noddingly familiar and somewhat jarring, these two poems leave me feeling a bit like I do after just waking from some dreams–intrigued and bewildered and startlingly, perhaps reassuringly, exposed.
“Detail of the Woods”
I looked at all the trees and didn’t know what to do.
A box made out of leaves.
What else was in the woods? A heart, closing. Nevertheless.
Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.
I kept my mind on the moon. Cold moon, long nights moon.
From the landscape: a sense of scale.
From the dead: a sense of scale.
I turned my back on the story. A sense of superiority.
Everything casts a shadow.
Your body told me in a dream it’s never been afraid of anything.