After-music: Poems by Conrad Hilberry

By Conrad Hilberry

After-Music is a different and wealthy number of meditations on either the private and common. one of several exciting locations, humans, and occasions that Hilberry brings to lifestyles in those poems are gazing manatees in a Florida canal, a reluctant priest blessing the animals in Mexico, a rushed and sullen checkout lady within the grocery store, and Day of the lifeless skeletons that shape a mariachi band. even supposing a number of the poems are formal in sonnets, quatrains, and tetrameter lots of the poems are loose verse, making them obtainable and relaxing studying.

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Aceite sin nombre. Your steel towers, horn concertos, blizzards, hairdos, sirens, poems, palms, CDs, DVDs SUVs—that’s my lineage, sloping down. Rain falls, cracked clouds spill their guttered news, I take it all in my arms. 8% for fifteen years. Forget the charts that promise you the intracoastal channel when the tide goes out. No memorizing everything the deck has dealt. Just follow me into the tall grass swale here by the woods. See the way the sun gets broken in that patch of swamp? The way that droop of juniper makes a doorway to the dark?

He takes out a small book and reads some words we can’t make out. Slips a carved stick into a clay bottle, sprinkles a little water on the nearest fur or feathers, turns, and walks back in. That’s it. All right, Padre, maybe there is no scriptural authority for blessing animals. Maybe splashing water on a goat is not your notion of a holy office. Maybe you intend to teach some dignity to your young seminarian who thinks his calling is to take the hands of wrinkled widows on the street. As we walk away, a quick wind catches the fountain, dissolves us all in mist.

Palm to palm. Before you make the next move, do I remind you of another yolk wrapped in fragile bone, shapely, golden in the center? Do you recall how easily a form you held can crack and spill, how absolute the absence? 35 36 Poker Tongs open up into a laugh, remembering they caught the live coal in their jaws when Prometheus first tossed it down. Somewhere they roast an ox, heap up the fire. And me? For a while I poked some logs. Now I slouch here in the corner watching the cabin give itself to squirrels and roaches.

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