Monday, November 30, 2015

"Mariana Trench" by Joanna Klink

35,827 feet

Palpable, principal, unearthly, is alive. Marianas, a stillness gathering

in the unrecognizable deep, cumulative, pressured, like pleasure again and

again ripped from a body. A look you give me, broken understanding,

and you know it will take hours, networks of words to begin again,

kettle and tray, pull of the pupil as it takes in my protests, hopes,

span of shoulders, the gauze of heat and oil on these arms, birds grazing

sheets of surface burning over the trench, as if to trespass for seconds into

the blackness below, an endless inwardness beneath the bright explosions

of their wings, now gliding in some far sense of air, a limit bathed in dusk

leaning beachward, some trust in coast at the end of day when the sweater

pulled over skin still pulses with sun, flowers set in sills to gather light

as a hand passes over the serrated stems, bending and diving

in the summery breeze, sorting through conflict or simply given to motion,

my body shut in your arms, refusing conclusion, feeling the bones spread

beneath skin, an apology forming near the boundary, tense, lost, veins

full of salt-vapor, the story undisclosed, descending in the blue-grays

of your eyes, the slow spread of depth toward some unfelt soundless

sediment, and unraveling toward sea, in need, in everything we can spare.

Author’s note: The Mariana Trench is the deepest spot on earth.  “Of all the worlds the abyss alone remains unaltered.  It is the one place on the planet where conditions remain as they have been since the beginning, where the five-mile pressures have not altered, where no suns have ever shone, where the cold is the same at the poles as at the equator, where the seasons are unchanging, where there is no wind and no wave . . . This is the sole world on the planet that we can enter only by a great act of the imagination.”—Loren Eiseley, “The Great Deeps,” The Immense Journey

Source of the text – Joanna Klink, Circadian.  New York: Penguin Poets, 2007, p. 25 and 67.

TJB: Abyssopelagic lyric. The poet uses a famous trench as metaphor for the me-myself under thousands of feet of superego, gestures, words, etc.

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