Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sean Singer

Sean Singer

Violin (Larry Fine)

Away from the air which is its only
resource, and apart and away

from the Stradivarius door, we know
window means eye of wind.

Here is pale marble, like a flat alabaster ship,
barely there, hearing only its echo, of its inside water.

The dark music by which a violin tunes its pear
reversals, again lights like a square in stone choirs.

The pain goes away
on payday.

Sequence of violins and their dark pegs, rolling
like a victor civilly putting a rubber mouth over his mouth.

There is a silence that will turn: a hammered vitula
actually sparking with upper and lower bouts.

Maybe we're at the junction
where we will not need this anymore.

Yellow spigots and leafy mirrors–
abandoned grain buttresses and pillows of mud.

Devouring our orange holding since the afternoon
everyone's milkweed & mezzotint.

Beetroot powder, ivory territory…
volcanoes may have peaks but a peak is not a volcano.

Some of us aren't even here, some
have happiness mixed in their lilac eyes.


Final Performance

for the David S. Ware Quartet (c.1995-2006) and for Stefan Zweig (1881-1942)

"The outcasts of the world…love with a fanatical, a baleful, a blacklove."—Stefan Zweig

Let's just saw ourselves in half
and call it a night.
It's easy to seep fifteen grains

as the barbital's green bandages sprawl
out and out with its sinews,
with its black oak ripening.

Step over the duff on the forest floor.
The rings supply the breath,
which is being furze-brushed and trammeled.
The last night the Quartet played
a skunk rolled down and ruptured its larynx.
The stump thought the skunk stunk.

But sifting the Veronal in his drink like hash,
Zweig felt the ouzelo, throstleo, cushato, culvero,
and syrupo on his wing.

Benjamin Franklin said nine men in ten
are chronic suicides, but for Zweig
the curvature of the Earth was too dark,
with its river orchestras and plumy effluvia.

One way is to slip into the tub
like a pearl in wine and phosphenes
stoke you like a virgule with quartz dust.
Another is to pity yourself into.

Is the Quartet ended, each pearled key quit,
each string quieted. Like a palindrome,
the mustachioed Zweig shrunk into his fat baby self,
and devolved into a baby—
Doc, note, I dissent. A fast never prevents fatness. I diet on cod.

I heard the band play a dirge,
with its edge, and could assuage each, outdistanced.
Who here has not considered diving
like a species of rail. Flightless marsh, who will sink today?

Nothing affects us more than the unlived lives
of our parents. The slender twigs
and sugary gems fall on the moist ground.

But between the heart and head
the Quartet's barbiturate
floated in the red mukula air.
The plum pudding air is red with raining heat,
in droplets deep in the interior.

This heart is dried on hooks, then the massive,
steamed, effectively black
suet is in a drum. In its room, four rooms, actually…
is an ecstasis of the yellow flesh.
In a drum is a room, and on the moor
is a murder. Remain there drinking rum
as the broom leaves the dust alone.
More for the roost till the toxins enter
and we rest.

Though there are no plums in it,
there are cloves and candied citron.
Zweig called it "the eternal rhythm
of the onward and onward"
though his subject, like that of the Quartet,
was human limitation.

This romantic fruit with its amber flesh
and multiple pollenizers, should be cooled for 900 hours:
Earliqueen, Murietta, Crimson Glo, and Royal Zee…
when these maroon hearts are
bitten, know the juice and flowing nubiana.

Because Zweig and Lotte thanked
the people of Brazil, and died,
the last droplet"
stilled the paroxysm of sobs."
A red light on a red van took them down.
The four wheels
like cradled rhododendrons.
The uncontaminated ship slows
and between its pivots, like a seed,
she purls into the sea.

Purplish-blue, the great caravanserai
wheedle through the sand;
Zweig in his bed with Lotte,
as their hands crisscross in surging underbelly.

Blame Zweig's defection
on the "climacteric"
but the indelible vortex of the fruit
and its upholstery touches like a shadow.

Half of us seeping limestone, brass,
the eve of Singapore falling to killers.
What is the price, for incursion,
even as the unicorn's liver bubbles like a dungeon?

We're sawed in, like a seesaw,
with laughter, but in the gut, here where Zweig
is pointing, is a gutter ball.
The ordure piles in the mouths
of the ones we call Father.

I heard a quarter of a musician
and did not hear a third of border's scorn.
Here and there is
a daughter, swaying like a saw,
with resin and paint. The saw, framed in lime,
seemed to tout a court. Then, in halves,
this monkey with its larder
was a mock hanging.

Dust into dust and plum into summer
like a brood the four stood.
One daughter then said to the other:
I am unsure of anything
but the endless interminable chatter
of the mind.

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