Friday, March 16, 2007

Two poems about perception

Filling a Water Bottle 6.20.2002

The once empty bottle is quickly filled
With water that must come from somewhere else
Maybe the drinking fountain in this building

(chiming in pipes like soft-ringing bells),
Maybe the water comes from my kitchen
And whispers from far off like ocean swells.

The old plastic bottle seems to fatten
But only what I see through water grows,
Only what’s seen, not the seen itself, when

The table distorts through what water shows.
Like splinters of sunshine found in the stream
Pouring out summer’s warm garden hose

These things remind me of how things can seem,
How meaning is not what it is to mean.

Playing with a ball-point pen.
Column of ink, enclosed in clear plastic,
Enclosed in another clear, plastic shell
The sight of you is clear but elastic,
Refracted. What layers of plastic tell
Is stasis and flux as my fingers turn.
The column of black widens and thins and,
In seeing this, there is something to learn,
Something almost easy to understand.

This might have been the start of a sonnet that I dropped because it seemed to get to its point in less time than that. The first poem is in terza rima, obviously. Chalk these up to my Wallace Stevens phase. :)

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