Tuesday, April 27, 2010


[This stunningly beautiful poem concludes the second part of B.N.'s Journey Music manuscript. I know you'll enjoy it!]


Tonight is only the page I lingered over,
Feeling an easy sadness for a photograph
Of Freud's beloved chows, the way the
Light lilts on the paper and my girlhood
Becomes a small boat on a huge horizon,

The way sleep untangles the reasons between us.
We are as uncomplicated as water as unwashed as salt.
The neighborhood's gone to hell and to the sleepless.
We are walking inside the houses

Across the room, from the chair to the table,
Toward the vase of flowers to the door,
Out the door to stand ashen under porch lights.

We rise each morning to the rush of tap-water,
Like little kites . And it's good to
Share in such simple relief. Farewell,
To twisted ecstatic sheets, the terrible bleary-eyed
Songs from a portable radio on the kitchen counter.
America is one big fat memory for insomniacs.

Tonight, I would give anything
To touch the world's face, to see the crowds'
Cheeks fill with sparks of dust,
Dirtied only by regret, and I, with my finger tip
Could wipe it all away.

Tonight is the piece of paper
On which the dark writes its name
That wants only to be made clean again.
And at this hour the trees along the street
Let go their leaves like the old book left
Open on the red arm chair.

© to the author, 1983-2010


  1. I am not sure how to describe the experience of reading that poem. Haunting is the word that comes to mind but that does not imply that it was in any way unpleasant or frightening. But some of those phrases will stay for a long time.

  2. I've started this comment three times, trying to put my finger on the phrase that I found most compelling. I started with "an easy sadness," but that was just the first image that I found - haunting, yes. Alan got it right. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  3. I always feel so rich when I come here. Beautiful poem. And I loved yesterday's blues, too. Thanks, John!

  4. Hi Alan, Sandra & Reya

    Alan: Yes, I think that's a good word to describe B.N.'s poems overall--she has written many lines that stick in my mind (happily so)

    Sandra: So glad you liked it! I also agree that Alan got it right.

    Reya: It is a beautiful poem! Thanks for the kind words, & glad you liked Brokedown Engine Blues!

  5. The mystery of what is happening can cause one to plug in so many darker or sad things of maybe regret.

  6. This is quite beautiful. I agree with Alan and Sandra. Thanks, John!


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