Friday, October 24, 2014

Poem for the Weekend: Anne Shaw

Anne Shaw is an artist, a poet, a student of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and the founder of the Twitter Poetry Project. Her latest collection is Dido in Winter, and you can visit her website at

Small Bang Theory

by Anne Shaw
for Glen
He says, You don’t need a religion. Woman,
you are a religion, and describes how the hints of things impinge
pushing their shapes before them as they rise
slowly, as if through plaster, the wobble of an orbit
pressing itself toward sight. This, he says, is science: how data ghosts
        the edge
when the unseen starts to flicker in, trace at the cusp of the mind’s

myopic eye. For a year I went blind as a freight train, thrashed
in a wild grief, because nothing as loud
as my sorrow could be heard. Now, in the formless dark
I can’t untangle my tongue
even to know what kind of help to ask.
But he tells me I’m all flintstrike
deep in the basement’s gut: again, again, again, again

and yes, I am all stammer and all ignition switch
waiting for gas jet, horsehair, lath, for anything to rascal back
the blossom of my blue, incessant flame. Therefore let me pray
the smallest possible prayer. Pinprick
in the darkness. Please. That the ear that is turned
to silence may flick itself awake. And if
it can make no reply, may hear.


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"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka