Monday Jul 22

HooverPaul Paul Hoover has most recently published the poetry books Desolation:  Souvenir (2012), Sonnet 56 (2009), Edge and Fold (2006), and Poems in Spanish (2007).   Conaculta of Mexico City has published his volume In Idiom and Earth (En el idioma y en la tierra), translated into Spanish by Maria Baranda.  He edits New American Writing with Maxine Chernoff, with whom he has also translated the poetry of Friedrich Hoelderlin.



You dwell at green lights
longer than expected.
Thoughts that had gone far
are slow in returning.

You pause before a panel
of highly reflective metal
and stay there, half in love.

A thousand dwellings,
all of them strange:
dripping of a faucet,
yawning of a cat.
On your way to the bathroom,
the squeaking of bats.

The moustache and the pipe,
so dreamlike in appearance.                                  
You have to live a while
to understand such things.

Reason is persuaded
by peaches and cream.
Anything held to a mirror
makes you want to dwell.                                                                                                                       

The gentleman moon-moth
in his cloak of white silk,
the courtship of earthworms—
who can say what’s real?

The dream surrounds us
with the grace of the strange.
Snow falls sideways,                                                 
and the owl flies so low
it’s mirrored in the pond.
The trees are covered
with sleeves of ice,
a window by its light.
We are near a dwelling,
Horseman, pass by.


Famous snow falling,
covering a mountain famous for its snow.
Famous cedars leaning in the wind.

A stone is famous at the bottom of the river.
But the river is normal enough.
It goes from here to there.

The famous dust is falling,
in nondescript corners and the famous corners, too,
where you stood or I stood

and someone will be standing
for the first time soon. Cup famous for some reason,  
bowl famous to its spoon.

Sunlight famous, most famous of all
as it climbs the garden wall.
Famous moon, coming through night

notorious for its darkness,
and Earth that is famous only on Earth,
with its sweet smell of history.

After John Clare

I have no wall, no house, no bed,
no love to spread my song upon,
no tongue, no mind, no soft rewards:
imagined grief, imagined gain.

I have no woman, lip and bone,
no double life, a single stone to stand upon.

I have no sun, no sign.
The rivers are double-deep,
the shallows overrun.

But I have time, patience, faith,
a life so save and one to waste.
I have half the problem solved,
a fifth of heart, a reef of skin.
Who grieves but me? No one.