Sunday, July 11, 2010

Your Sunday Poem

This exquisitely cunning poem is by Lia Purpura and was in the Oct 5 New Yorker. It reads and sounds in my head like a small, haunting melody on a piano, with each word and phrase striking a resonating note.  Try reading it three times, each time more slowly than the last just to relish the soft, exquisite cascade of words down to the last two.

First Leaf

That yellow
was a falling off,
a fall
for once I saw
coming --
it could
in its stillness
still be turned from,
it was not
yet ferocious,
its hold drew me,
was a shiny switchplate
in the otherwise dark,
rash, ongoing green,
a green so hungry
for light and air that
part gave up,
went alone,
chose to leave,
and by choosing
got seen.


Anne R. Allen said...

I remember this one from October. So spare. I like your comparison to a single line of piano music. Lovely.

Alon Perlman said...

This one has what? alliteration?

The thingy where words are strung along like clanging cans, creating a cacophony through which chimes a cadence which by happenstance overpowers grammar.

Also the themes you like Ann, observation of a natural event and a larger significance like the pebble and the universe.

Never too early for the fall. Very inspiring

But first, an unusual name for our poetess de-jour.

reminds me of when I picked up a phlebotomy certification. and some other human physiology clotting cascade etc...

Purpura Thrombotica

The needle
from the skin,
sharp and gleaming.
The syringe,
loaded, top-heavy,
like a shuttle,
departs --
the old mans hand
-- a rough continent on a
harsh steel ocean
splayed below.
The purple shape
forming beneath,
angry and dark
trapped apart from
that small mark.
Black crimson
escaped drop spot
remaining on surface.
Still warm, living,
panting, breathing --
Until, trapped, captured,
transferred frozen to an
inch wide gauze canvas.
Only smeared-over
brown-yellow stain
remains on
taut parchment thin skin,
perfectly displaying
a living map --
circulatory system
sculptured in raised relief.
Veins like mountain ridges
form valley lakes
to trap spreading floods.
Collecting life's blood
constraining causeways escaped,
coagulation cascades
slow to clot, sit,
silt, and sediment.
A melting moraine
under sky thin integument.

Alon Perlman said...

So after I post this I'm like checking out and at the bottom it says "Liz" purpura
which is like -which is it?_ purpura BTW means basically sub skin hematoma or extra nasty bruise
so as soon as i put "lia purpura" in google it pops up as various subsearches including "lia purpura autopsy report"
which you will find here Lia Purpura
From the essay "Autopsy Report"
"I wish I understood the beauty
in leaves falling. To whom
are we beautiful
as we go?"
-David Ignatow"

Anyway she is pretty comfortable with the icky stuff but mainly cool given the poem I posted above was to find descriptions of the body parts in a similar "vain"
"And heavy in the doctor's hand, the spleen, shining, as if pulled from a river."

Anyway Ann, thanks for understanding and sharing the beauty in leaves falling.

Churadogs said...

Purpura, latin, "purple color" Gota to check her out on Amazon, see if she's got any collected works published.