[below are two poems. “Swallows” originally appeared in The Harvard Advocate; “Mahler 9” was published in The Gamut]



Shards of exact memory,
masters of local
magnitude, keepers
of untranslating
logic where
eternity is
a wandering here —
these twining parallel
in future-outpacing
angles spelling
of great intelligence:
carefullest madness,
black on blue,
black on clear, memory
everywhere proving
life whose will
still they scrawl still
they carve this easiest
element with fleet
in circle-shaming
precision — bright-black
eyes — and
at evening by
the cathedral they rouse
thick air as if
around vanished
scaffoldings and night
expands the gaps
they are: lost
arrows halftracing
a sphere: all clockwise:
yet some hover:
yet some wander
over what border:
and hourly unities
inarguable as breath
shift the frame, smooth
the canvas: here
an absent entirety
flickers: will they


Mahler 9

We couldn’t otherwise
long this long –
eighty-minute hundred-throat
heart-stuttering song

whose two-note fall falls wrong:
not the tense
predicted downflowering,
the one-stressed wince

which, yielding, lands,
but a liquid slide through
the scale’s open heart
from three to two,

no one in sight: he whose
countdown this is
forges aloneness
through which he sees,

out of which he says
what won’t translate:
the strings which bind him
sing, the drums beat

at his bruised temple’s gate:
space itself rings,
inhales, undoes
the time-foldings

it was swaddled in:
the nearing silence
(soon to stretch horizontal
to no horizon)

gets postponed, blinded,
the off-white posthumous
stars made present
in one overtone-bright

fluted string of light
stretching sky-bent,
earth-bent, out
of his all-but-spent

tone-built deathbed –
the two-note fall,
the still-falling, the
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiino rest:
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiithis is no final
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiplace but time,
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilit, replayable