Jorie Graham

Underneath (9)

Up, up you go, you must be introduced.

You must learn      belonging to (no-one)

Drenched in the white veil (day)

The circle of minutes pushed gleaming onto your finger.

Gaps pocking the brightness where you try to see

Missing: corners, fields,

completeness: holes growing in it where the eye looks hardest.

Below, his chest, a sacred weightless place

and the small weight of your open hand     on it.

And these legs, look, still yours, after all you've done with them.

Explain     the six missing seeds.

Explain       muzzled.

Explain     tongue breaks     thin fire      in eyes.

Learn what the great garden-(up, up you go)-exteriority,

the green never-the-less       the green who-did-you-say-you-are

and how it seems to stare all the time, that green,

until night blinds it       temporarily.

What is it searching for all the leaves turning towards you.

Breath the emptiest of the freedoms.

When will they notice the hole in your head     (they won't).

When will they feel for the hole in your chest

Up, go. Let being-seen drift over you again, sticky kindness.

Those wet strangely unstill eyes filling their heads-

thinking or sight?-

all waiting for the true story-

your heart, beating its little song: explain. . .

Explain       requited

Explain       indeed the blood of your lives I will require

explain the strange weight of meanwhile

and there exists another death in regards to which

we are not     immortal

variegated     dappled     spangled     intricately wrought

complicated     obstruse     subtle     devious

scintillating with change and ambiguity


Explain       two are

Explain       not one

(in theory)       (and in practice)

blurry, my love, like a right quotation,

wanting so to sink back down,

you washing me in soil now, my shoulders dust, my rippling dust,

Look     I'll scrub the dirt     listen.

Up here how will I

(not) hold you.

Where is the dirt packed in again     around us between us     obliterating difference

Must one leave off        Explain edges

(tongue breaks)     (thin fire)
     (in eyes)

And bless. And blame.

(Moonless night.

Vase in the kitchen)


Explain     duty to remain to the end.

Duty not to run away from the good.

The good.

(Beauty is not an issue.)

A wise man wants?

A master.


Oh my beloved     I speak of      the absolute     jewels.

Dwelling in     place     for example.

In fluted listenings.

In panting waters     human-skinned     to the horizon.

Muzzled     the deep.

Fermenting     the surface.

Wrecks left at the bottom, yes.

Space     birdless.

Light on it a woman on her knees-her having kneeled everywhere

God's laughter     unquenchable.

Back there its river ripped into pieces, length gone, buried in parts, in

Believe me       I speak now for the sand.

Here at the front end, the narrator.

At the front end, the meanwhile: God's laughter.

Are you still waiting for the true story? (God's laughter)

The difference between what is and could be? (God's laughter)

In this dance the people do not move.

Deferred     defied     obstructed     hungry,

organized around     a radiant absence.

In His dance the people do not move.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: laughter, green, dance, fire, people, river, believe, winter, change, woman, spring, summer, beauty, song, women, water, running

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Underneath (9) by Jorie Graham )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley Updates

New Poems

  1. The Love Train Rolls, chug a chug a chuga, Monk E. Biz
  2. Ill-fated, gajanan mishra
  3. An Agonizing Cry, Valsa George
  4. Patterns Followed On Aging Fabric, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  5. Documenting Of Those Endeavors, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  6. Courage, Lilly Emery
  7. Bijay Kant Dubey An Expert on Jayanta Ma.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  8. Living ‘In Fear' of The Lord, Brian Johnston
  9. what now?, cece rodriguez
  10. In To The Train To Pakistan, Bijay Kant Dubey

Poem of the Day

poet Emily Dickinson


"Heaven"—is what I cannot reach!
The Apple on the Tree—
Provided it do hopeless—hang—
That—"Heaven" is—to Me!

...... Read complete »


Modern Poem

poet John Burroughs


Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]