Fallowfield Community Library – Week 4
This afternoon I gave out a poem from Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds, published this year. Vuong is a Vietnemese-American poet who I feel very privileged to have seen read a few weeks ago at the Anthony Burgess Centre. I love how he combines public and personal history in this particular poem.
I was surprised to not see Mike or Tony out enjoying the sun – I left them a poem on their bench – but was happy to see a few of the knitting club. I showed them my home-made banner which was partly inspired by their beautiful creations. And as always I met a few first timers who needed a bit of encouraging, but I hope they didn’t regret making the time for one poem today.
Untitled (Blue, Green, & Brown): oil on canvas: Mark Rothko: 1952
The TV said the planes have hit the buildings.
& I said Yes because you asked me
to stay. Maybe we pray on our knees because god
only listens when we’re this close
to the devil. There is so much I want to tell you.
How my greatest accolade was to walk
across the Brooklyn Bridge
& not think of flight. How we live like water: wetting
a new tongue with no telling
what we’ve been through. They say the is sky is blue
but I know it’s black seen through too much distance.
You will always remember what you were doing
when it hurts the most. There is so much
I want to tell you—but I only earned
one life. & I took nothing. Nothing. Like a pair of teeth
at the end. The TV kept saying The planes…
The planes…& I stood waiting in the room
made from broken mocking birds. Their wings throbbing
into four blurred walls. & you were there.
You were the window.