Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tuesday Poem - 'Wondernight' by Alex Skovron

for Zofia Radwańska

I was a child
when a picture book
brought me this/

a study
dark among its panels
the household

asleep/ a pendulum
softly clicks/ midnight

bookshelves stir/ the books
are coming to life

they wake/ start
to converse/ glide or file
to the floor

begin a vigorous
debate/ each volume utterly
unlike the next

It is a wondernight
of books
the room vibrates/ colours

& covers throb
pages windmill/ a dance
of books

that should have stayed
the shelf
where day belongs

Try to recatch
the colour of that tale
I fell for/

I can almost
close my memory

around it
almost/ stubborn is the
old steep

to be a little boy

the night gives notice
to return/

the books
must reinstate a front
for the sun

a facade/ for morning
to discover
perfect order/ shelves

the spines & sequences

And I wish
that I could hold this
Polish fable once

more in my hand/ protectively/
lest by the colour
it no longer

lent/ the flaws
in the text
& the art

I picked at/
these books should finally
close their dream

& I/ unreconciled/ resume
my book
to book search for myself

I missed out on Alex Skovron's launch of Towards The Equator; New & Selected Poems (Puncher & Wattman 2014) but I did catch him reading at The Dan recently, and that was a treat. He brings such force and colour to the work when he reads. (As if it doesn't contain enough already!) The poem I chose comes from his 1988 book The Rearrangement, and the title poem is a stunner. But too long, I thought, for a blog post. Scroll and scroll and scroll. I can only suggest you invest in a copy and have a good browse through the greatest hits of one of our best poets. Alex really knows how to poet! (I also enjoyed very much, on my first time through this book, the selections from his 1999 book Infinite City. Oh and The Man and the Map 2003.)

1 comment:

  1. This is a great poem. There is a silence which surrounds the words. It's quite stunning. Thanks for introducing me to a new poet.