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George Oppen

(1908-1984 / United States)

Myth Of The Blaze


night—sky bird’s world
to know to know in my life to know


what I have said to myself


the dark to escape in brilliant highways
of the night sky, finally
why had they not


killed me why did they fire that warning
wounding cannon only the one round I hold a superstition


because of this lost to be lost Wyatt’s
lyric and Rezi’s
running thru my mind
in the destroyed (and guilty) Theatre
of the War I’d cried
and remembered
boyhood degradation other
degradations and this crime I will not recover
from that landscape it will be in my mind
it will fill my mind and this is horrible
death bed pavement the secret taste
of being lost


dead


clown in the birds’
world what names
(but my name)
and my love's name to speak


into the eyes
of the Tyger blaze


of changes ... ‘named


the animals’ name


and name the vigorous dusty strong


animals gather
under the joists the boards older


than they giving
them darkness the gifted


dark tho names the names the ‘little’


adventurous
words a mountain the cliff


a wave are taxonomy I believe


in the world


because it is
impossible the shack


on the coast


under the eaves
the rain barrel flooding


in the weather and no lights
across rough water illumined
as tho the narrow


end of the funnel what are the names
of the Tyger to speak
to the eyes


of the Tiger blaze
of the tiger who moves in the forest leaving


no scent


but the pine needles’ his eyes blink


quick
in the shack
in the knife-cut
and the opaque


white


bread each side of the knife

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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