Monday, December 15

Say Uncle

I've been hanging onto Kay Ryan's "Say Uncle" way past its due date, in order to post a poem or two here. Kay Ryan is the new poet laureate of the United States. "Say Uncle" is not her most recent book; it came out in 1991. But it was the one that came through the library request system most quickly. Cutting edge, I'm not, but you'll like her poems.


Every day
you say,
Just one
more try.
Then another
day slips by.
You will
say ankle,
you will
say knuckle;
why won't
you why
won't you
say uncle?


Weakness and doubt
are symbionts
famous throughout
the fungal orders,
which admire pallors,
rusts, grey talcums,
the whole palette
of dusts and powders
of the rot kingdom
and do not share
our kind's disgust
at dissolution,
following the
interplay of doubt
and weakness
as a robut
sort of business;
the way we
love construction,
they love hollowing.


There could be nutrients
in failure--
deep amendments
to the shallow soil
of wishes.
Think of the
dark and bitter
flavors of
black ales
and peasant loaves.
Think of licorices.
Think about
the tales of how
Indians put fishes
under corn plants.
Next time hope
relinquishes a form,
think about that.

No comments:

Post a Comment