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An Historie, An Inverse Structure

Poetry James Meetze

At once an utterance and then a song for
direction established like a compass magnet
to history’s repetitive north.
I see you and can say there is room at the table
                    for all of us.
There are pathways and bomb shelters
still, and we are learning in the eucalyptus grove
there is a metal tree so like a radio.
We are wont to steal the linguistics of
—without leaves and without remorse—
its emanating voice.


What library isn’t full of periodical sadness?
                    All of the dead.
What is noble in being taught, is noble in being said,
so to become an echo,
a living and youthful inheritor of someone
                    whom I’ve read.
Neither fables of poetry or objects of wood
are alive, but they are certain and real.
Under an invisible, birdless sky,
the actual beach receives them
here in its various jars.


To write the vibrations of a place and
hear sun coming through the neighborhood
or assign a letter to a shadow
—purple mountains’ majesty—
everything is nothing’s consolation.
A charge of spindrift between them.
A coastline flecked with starlite
                    gives us nothing.
Stars dropping down from space into all of us
to turn the lights on
enough to feel that relief
of having a bed to read, then sleep, upon.

“Each new issue feels like a public report from many individual private spheres.” —Antoine Wilson

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Issue 12



Winter 2011


James Meetze is the editor, with Simon Pettet, of Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and the author of Dayglo, which was selected by Terrance Hayes as winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press. ​


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