jorie-graham

this is freedom. This is the face of faith, nobody gets
what they want. Never again are you the same. The longing
is to be pure. What you get is to be changed. More and more by
each glistening minute, through which infinity threads itself.
Also oblivion, of course, the aftershocks of something
at sea. Here hands full of sand, letting it sift through
in the wind, I look in and say take this, hurry. And if I listen
now? Listen, I was not saying anything. It was only
something I did. I could not chose words. I am free to go.
I cannot, of course, come back. Not to this. Never.
It is a ghost posed on my lips. Here: never.

Jorie Graham, from “Prayer,” Never (Ecco, 2003)

Daphne

Pick     a card.

Wrong again.

Interrupt    belief.

Write down    hope.

Move lips in sleep.

Widen.

Translate.

Be   less.

Be found.

Be    muzzled.

Say    write hard answers on me.

Bear down    make clear.

The moon rises.

Will never be perfect.

Be good    open mouth.

Don’t scream.

Let light come into     taste light.

Earn.

Turn if it’s allowed.

Be outstanding.

Give pleasure away.

Give trust away.

With your mouth     loosen everything.

(Music in the distance)

(A man sleeping under a tree near noon)

Let the other mouth seal yours.

Let the other mouth heal yours over.

Run out of air.

Don’t break seal.

Break

faith.

Let the given tighten.

Be the experiment.

Forgo explanation.

Touch pain     with great curiosity.

Jorie Graham

I think I am probably in love with silence, that other world. And that I write, in some way, to negotiate seriously with it… . Because there is, of course, always the desire, the hope, that they are not two separate worlds, sound and silence, but that they become each other, that only our hearing fails.
—  Jorie Graham, “Some Notes on Silence” in 19 New American Poets of the Golden Gate

This is what is wrong: we, only we, the humans, can retreat from
ourselves and
                                                                                     not be
                                                                                     altogether here.
We can be part full, only part, and not die. We can be in and
out of here, now,
at once, and not die. The little song, the little river, has banks.
We can pull up
                                                                                      and sit on the banks.
We can pull back
from the being of our bodies, we can live a
portion of them, we can be absent, no one can tell.

— Jorie Graham, from “Other,” Overlord: Poems

I think I am probably in love with silence, that other world. And that I write, in some way, to negotiate seriously with it… Because there is, of course, always the desire, the hope, that they are not two separate worlds, sound and silence, but that they become each other, that only our hearing fails.
—  Jorie Graham, from “Some Notes on Silence,” in 19 New Poets of the Golden Gate
For what we want
       to take
inside of us, whole orchard,
       color,
name, scent, symbol, raw
       pale
blossoms, wet black
       arms, there is
no deep enough.
—  Jorie Graham, from “The Age of Reason”
What is the light
at the end of the day, deep, reddish-gold, bathing the walls,
the corridors, light that is no longer light, no longer clarifies,
illuminates, antique, freed from the body of
the air that carries it. What is it
for the space of time
where it is useless, merely
beautiful?
—  Jorie Graham, from “Salmon”