Saturday Apr 21

PhillipsCarl Carl Phillips is the author of eleven books of poems, most recently Speak Low (FSG, 2009) and Double Shadow, forthcoming from FSG in 2011.  He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Starfighter Lilies

 

Just to have said aloud the name remains a way of rescuing,
of bringing back flowers that have long since died or
been thrown out like–though not exactly like–

the man who gave them, himself neither
thrown out nor dead but lying somewhere very
still now, between...Fall; don't fall–risk,

or safety; must coming close always mean to fail?
Starfighter lilies: lofty name; silly, therefore. As if
belief meant everything–the way, sometimes, it can

still seem to. As if they could rival the stars,
for light. It has taken the dark, and you, for me to realize I'm
only interested in knowing form through touch, not sight.

 

 

As for That Piece of Sundown You've Been Wanting

 

Like little forges for which the heart too often
gets mistaken, the dogs run ahead of me, just
out of earshot, across what's a field, and then
a coast: some stones, some sand. Funny how
sorrow more often arrives before honesty, than
the other way round. To my left, a blackness

like the past, but without the past's precision;
to my right, the ocean... Not so lost as I'd
been thinking, then–or had once, admittedly,
maybe even hoped for. Kingdom of what's left,
still, to be angry at, or forgive. All of the bees
flying at last out of me. We're traveling north.

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photo credit Doug Macomber