Guest Poet Jennifer Griffin


Cutting through the soft morning flesh
When our backs would sing beneath each burred weight
They'd suckle though skipping; tightening one to another
Their cobble-brown shadows smack against the aluminum hips
Through the glistening embers of imminent light
In these distances though ever nearer
The silos tossing on the bolstering banks would heave
Their occurrence alight in bawling brass
And orange and violet shimmers
Their flight is procryptic; needless and though full of need
It is quiet atop these brittle shelves of daylight
And I seem to remember there are days such as these
When each ripple brims upon impervious heights
Binds and whimpers as though the water was all ablaze
Then evening wheels its chaff about in angelic sheers
Curbing the flurries of night against the quayside tow
Sieving the rifts of needle rush one through another
And the plummeting banks into one effortless shore
I bend upon these shores, mollify the beaten city
Submerge revelations long since past times I could consider them
When at night from the top of clay eaves
The houses looked like floods of salt gun pellets rupturing the
industrial mean
I'd rise from the bleached-blood timber of them docks
Packed in like God's good skeleton over the suck of the bottom
Then in upper class drifts in my dirty camouflage jacket
A patched cigarette and the eddie van record my friend let me borrow
The untamed visage of an educated family that left me expressionless,
The leopard's balm on an otherwise silent strip
I raced the white-hot comet across the tobacco tracts and through the
ribs of sky
Plunging the sent of the earth from the crushing blades
The house stood still, a deep winded bluff across the inland sheaves
From the fence, I saw them in the kitchen standing, waiting if I'd sent
the end
Waiting if I'd seen the sweet nymph pitching about her rusted roots
Her mists rising like dabbing ambrosia
Against them blackened silos jutting out
Like the translucent and forgotten gates of heaven

July, 2000

Jennifer Griffin's Questions:

I would like to know if you think that the images are clear, if what the poem is about comes across clearly through the images.

What of the use of language.

The Albany Poetry Workshop