Monday, August 18, 2014

Tuesday Poem - 'CONTEMPLATING A MIGRAINE' by John Mateer


Words, there are for this, but the thing — a distant flaring
under the crust of my skin, deep inside its shifting homeliness.

Pain: the purest life. I could start to pray …

Through the window, as compensation, the rain gently gives me the garden,
its mossy rocks, its green benevolence, the garden that drops away

into the soaring cedar forest suggestive of the opposite of whatever
this pain is.

I would say, a kind of mountain.

                                                                     But maybe I am the mountain,
and the pain, hidden in cloud, is a foreboding shrine, unvisited.

I don't bump into John Mateer very often around the traps, so took the chance
to go to his reading at Collected Works in Melbourne, oh maybe six months ago.
I am very taken with his work. It is kind of cool, maybe even abstemious. It is a
hinting, glancing, stringent (astringent?) exercise of the use and power of language.

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