Some Things I Said

writings on the wall

I was the one who said
the ditch in the backyard was maybe a river
that had flowed from somewhere else and was flowing to
somewhere else

I was the one who said where are you now?

I was the one who told about the one whose photograph in
the book of Eakins’s photographs was of
a guy the perfection of his body was his doom, and
Shakespeare said so too

Right there before my eyes was the one who said
where are you now? Where
are you Anne? I was the one

Who saw how Aeneas lay there in the darkness watching the
light, the little motions of light moving around the ceiling
and telling him something

I was the one whose mother’s voice called out of the urn

I was the one who said how the day light knocks at the lid in

I said be keep to your self be close be wall all dark

I said good people are punished, like all the rest

I said the boats on the river are taking it easy

I said the brain in your head whispers

I said death lives in our words

I said how beautiful is the past, how few the implements,
and how carefully made

I was the one who said
her body witness is, so also is her voice

I said better not know too much too soon all about it

where rhymes with beware, I said

I said it is the body breathing,
the crib of knowing

I wish I could recall now the lines written across my dream is what
I said

I said the horse’s hooves know all about it, the sky’s statement of
oncoming darkness

The fumes on the roof are visible and drifting away like
martyred souls, I said

I said the knees of the committee touch each other under the
table, furtive in pleasure

I said
Eurydice, My Father

I said we huddle over the ice,
the two of us

To squeeze from a stone its juice is her art’s happiness is
what I said

I am the one who said,
I hum to myself myself in a humming dream

And how we’re caught, I said,
In language: in being, in feeling, in acting. I said, it’s

I said the sea upheld us, would not let us go nor drown us,
and we looked down say a million years, and there were the

See, the dead bloom in the dark, I said

The nightjar feeds while flying softly, smiling, smiling, I said

I said revenant whitefaced Death is walking not knowing

I said the formula on the blackboard said who are you

I said Utnapishtim said to Gilgamesh blink of an eye

I said where are you now Where are you Anne

Stanza my stone my father poet said

vwx stones and sticks

The day doesn’t know what day it is, I said

What’s in the way the sun shines down, I said

I cried in my mute heart,
What is my name and nature

Comment form:

*Max text - 500. Manual moderation.

Similar Poems:

The Blessed City by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
In my youth I was told that in a certain city every one lived
according to the Scriptures.

And I said, “I will seek that city and the blessedness thereof.”
And it was far. And I made great provision for my journey. And
after forty days I beheld the city and on the forty-first day I
entered into it.

And lo! the whole company of the inhabitants had each but a single
eye and but one hand. And I was astonished and said to myself,
“Shall they of this so holy city have but one eye and one hand?”

Then I saw that they too were astonished, for they were marveling
greatly at my two hands and my two eyes. And as they were speaking
together I inquired of them saying, “Is this indeed the Blessed
City, where each man lives according to the Scriptures?” And they
said, “Yes, this is that city.”

“And what,” said I, “hath befallen you, and where are your right
eyes and your right hands?”

And all the people were moved. And they said, “Come thou and see.”

And they took me to the temple in the midst of the city. And in
the temple I saw a heap of hands and eyes. All withered. Then said
I, “Alas! what conqueror hath committed this cruelty upon you?”

And there went a murmur amongst them. And one of their elders
stood forth and said, “This doing is of ourselves. God hath made
us conquerors over the evil that was in us.”

And he led me to a high altar, and all the people followed. And
he showed me above the altar an inscription graven, and I read:

“If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee;
for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish,
and not that the whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy
right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee; for it
is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and
not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Then I understood. And I turned about to all the people and cried,
“Hath no man or woman among you two eyes or two hands?”

And they answered me saying, “No, not one. There is none whole save
such as are yet too young to read the Scripture and to understand
its commandment.”

And when we had come out of the temple, I straightway left that
Blessed City; for I was not too young, and I could read the scripture.
Read Poem

from Gilgamesh: Tablet 1 by David Ferry
David Ferry

The Story

of him who knew the most of all men know;
who made the journey; heartbroken; reconciled;

who knew the way things were before the Flood,
the secret things, the mystery; who went

to the end of the earth, and over; who returned,
and wrote the story on a tablet of stone.
Read Poem

from Gilgamesh: Tablet 11 by David Ferry
David Ferry

Gilgamesh spoke and said to the old man then:
"When I looked at you I thought that you were not

a man, one made like me; I had resolved
to challenge you as one might challenge a demon,

a stranger-adversary. But now I see
that you are Utnapishtim, made like me,

a man, the one I sought, the one from whom
Read Poem

Madeleine in Church by Charlotte Mew
Charlotte Mew
Here, in the darkness, where this plaster saint
Stands nearer than God stands to our distress,
And one small candle shines, but not so faint
As the far lights of everlastingness,
I’d rather kneel than over there, in open day
Where Christ is hanging, rather pray
To something more like my own clay,
Not too divine;
Read Poem

The Double Image by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton

I am thirty this November.
You are still small, in your fourth year.
We stand watching the yellow leaves go queer,
flapping in the winter rain,
falling flat and washed. And I remember
mostly the three autumns you did not live here.
They said I’d never get you back again.
Read Poem

The Circus by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
I remember when I wrote The Circus
I was living in Paris, or rather we were living in Paris
Janice, Frank was alive, the Whitney Museum
Was still on 8th Street, or was it still something else?
Fernand Léger lived in our building
Well it wasn’t really our building it was the building we lived in
Next to a Grand Guignol troupe who made a lot of noise
So that one day I yelled through a hole in the wall
Read Poem

The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
‘Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:Σίβυλλα τίθέλεις; respondebat illa:άποθανεîνθέλω.’ For Ezra Pound
il miglior fabbro. I. The Burial of the Dead
Read Poem

The Third Hour of the Night by Frank Bidart
Frank Bidart
When the eye

When the edgeless screen receiving
light from the edgeless universe

When the eye first

When the edgeless screen facing
outward as if hypnotized by the edgeless universe

When the eye first saw that it

Hungry for more light
Read Poem

Heart’s Needle by W. D. Snodgrass
W. D. Snodgrass
For Cynthia

When he would not return to fine garments and good food, to his houses and his people, Loingseachan told him, “Your father is dead.” “I’m sorry to hear it,” he said. “Your mother is dead,” said the lad. “All pity for me has gone out of the world.” “Your sister, too, is dead.” “The mild sun rests on every ditch,” he said; “a sister loves even though not loved.” “Suibhne, your daughter is dead.” “And an only daughter is the needle of the heart.” “And Suibhne, your little boy, who used to call you “Daddy”—he is dead.” “Aye,” said Suibhne, “that’s the drop that brings a man to the ground.”
He fell out of the yew tree; Loingseachan closed his arms around him and placed him in manacles.—AFTER THE MIDDLE-IRISH ROMANCE, THE MADNESS OF SUIBHNE
Read Poem