And how does a body break bread with the word when the word has broken.

A beautifully haunting kick in the gut from C.D. Wright (1949-2016).

Bread, Breakfast, Food, Knife, Loaf

“More Blues and the Abstract Truth”

I back the car over a soft, large object;
hair appears on my chest in dreams.
The paperboy comes to collect
with a pit bull. Call Grandmother
and she says, Well you know
death is death and none other.

In the mornings we’re in the dark;
even at the end of June
the zucchini keep on the sill.
Ring Grandmother for advice
and she says, O you know
I used to grow so many things.

Then there’s the frequent bleeding,
the tender nipples, and the rot
under the floormat. If I’m not seeing
a cold-eyed doctor it is
another gouging mechanic.
Grandmother says, Thanks to the blue rugs
and Eileen Briscoe’s elms
the house keeps cool.

Well. Then. You say Grandmother
let me just ask you this:
How does a body rise up again and rinse
her mouth from the tap. And how
does a body put in a plum tree
or lie again on top of another body
or string a trellis. Or go on drying
the flatware. Fix rainbow trout. Grout the tile.
Buy a bag of onions. Beat an egg stiff. Yes,
how does the cat continue
to lick itself from toenail to tailhole.
And how does a body break
bread with the word when the word
has broken. Again. And. Again.
With the wine. And the loaf.
And the excellent glass
of the body. And she says,
Even. If. The. Sky. Is. Falling.
My. Peace. Rose. Is. In. Bloom.

from Steal Away: New and Selected Poems 

We have so little time to learn

“Poetry is a necessity of life… It is a function of poetry to locate those zones inside us that would be free, and declare them so.” –C.D. Wright

A startling farewell to the great C.D. Wright (1949-2016), who gave us so much to learn.

cd-wright-by-wt-pfefferle

“Everything Good Between Men and Women”

has been written in mud and butter
and barbecue sauce. The walls and
the floors used to be gorgeous.
The socks off-white and a near match.
The quince with fire blight
but we get two pints of jelly
in the end. Long walks strengthen
the back. You with a fever blister
and myself with a sty. Eyes
have we and we are forever prey
to each other’s teeth. The torrents
go over us. Thunder has not harmed
anyone we know. The river coursing
through us is dirty and deep. The left
hand protects the rhythm. Watch
your head. No fires should be
unattended. Especially when wind. Each
receives a free swiss army knife.
The first few tongues are clearly
preparatory. The impression
made by yours I carry to my grave. It is
just so sad so creepy so beautiful.
Bless it. We have so little time
to learn, so much… The river
courses dirty and deep. Cover the lettuce.
Call it a night. O soul. Flow on. Instead.