[A big week for poetry here on Robert Frost's Banjo: today, another stunningly good poem by Brittany Newmark]
A Letter From The Committee For the Advancement of Loss
I am making a drawing of the world,
an analogy in ink dotted outlines
between that which is lost
by our own errant ways
and that which is torn from us
and that which recedes with time.
We will speak of these quietly in hushed tones,
that are leaned into.
It serves as a history lesson,
And that freight an uneven load.
As always, in my imagination
My lecture today begins
as my lecture yesterday began
and as I will begin tomorrow.
There in the repetition of what has been said—a long silence
Once it had everything to do with the chestnut trees
and a poplar wood, a tan pup
tucked under a blue woolen coat with horn buttons.
And I. Steinmetz, a star man
and stone cutter
Who traveled that great distance in a wooden cart
hidden beneath the straw bales.
in a codeine stupor
of ten thousand clocks and brass gears and enamel hands,
licking the icicles beneath a truck’s chassis,
or were they hanging from the roof of a boxcar?
No matter they were cold and slick.
The thirst: a reminder, drink
you must drink.
The long always
winter on the back of the eyelids, specks of snow
the shadow of wolves
Like what the letter should have said:
Dear Mr X,
The committee has met and discussed the unfortunate situation that was your family.
We wish to thank you for your generous contribution to the world of loss. Their names should be blessed and you should be written in the Book of Life
The Committee For the Advancement of Loss
PS. We cannot await a reply.