Tuesday, January 13

some said, showing forth

            From somewhere near the well we
        heard singing, voice an unheard-of
          porridge, capsicum and roux,
    mouth," it lamented, "shook my tree."
            More than could be carried we caught,
        were whisked away by, movement the
          one mooring we knew. Eyes tightly
    shut, one tear squeezed out by the
            impending end, what we wanted
                                                                      was to
            endlessly verge on exit, angling
          out, tangent to circle's edge, on
            our way where we'd be the last to
          say . . . Let all edges converge, it
we said, cut away would-be end. Shell's
        edge, knife's edge, pearl we'd be
    prompted by, refugees from where
      likewise last to say . . . It wasn't
wander what we did, we circled. Frayed
                                                                        at its
        edge though it was, wheel of soul, verge
    we were driven by . . . Verge that we wanted
      verge was the song we sang had there been a
song we sang. No song left our lips.

        Nonsonant, we rounded circle's edge,
    nonsonant ring shout, verge our muse
      and mount. Verge that we wanted verge
we bordered on singing. No song left
    our lips. It wasn't sing what we did,
        circled. Song was the porridge voice's
privilege. "Shadow mouth," it repeated,
    my tree . . . " Sparks rose near the well, an
          extinguished fire, hung like a signal
            or a sign of moving on, a symbol, some
        said, showing forth . . . "Post-ecstatic"
a word we heard, "copacetic" a word we
        heard, "After ecstasy what?" a question
      posed in smoke . . . it wasn't smolder what we
          did, we burned wanting verge,           verge
            our legs, we
        bore thru

-- Nathaniel Mackey, lines from "Song of the Andoumboulou: 50"

Nathaniel Mackey

Read more from "Song of the Andoumboulou: 50"