poet Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon

Extraordinary Rendition

I.

I gave you back my claim on the mining town
and the rich vein we once worked,
the tumble down
from a sluice box that irked

you so much, the narrow gauge
that opened up to one and all
when it ran out at the landing stage
beyond the falls.

I gave you back oak ties,
bully flitches, the hand-hewn crossbeams
from which hung hardtack

in a burlap bag that, I'd surmise,
had burst its seams
the last night we lay by the old spur track.

II.

You gave me back your frown
and the most recent responsibility you'd shirked
along with something of your renown
for having jumped from a cage just before it jerked

to a standstill, your wild rampage
shot through with silver falderals,
the speed of that falling cage
and the staidness of our canyon walls.

You gave me back lake skies,
pulley glitches, gully pitches, the reflected gleams
of two tin plates and mugs in the shack,

the echoes of love sighs
and love screams
our canyon walls had already given back.

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Poem Edited: Wednesday, October 5, 2011

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Comments about Extraordinary Rendition by Paul Muldoon

  • Seamus O BrianSeamus O Brian (9/14/2016 4:57:00 PM)

    How poignantly delightful. I wonder at the origin of the extended metaphor, whether it was wholly imagined or indeed a part of the author's experience.

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  • Michael Morgan (9/14/2016 8:24:00 AM)

    word-magic par excellance, despite the sketchy meaning

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  • Michael Morgan (9/14/2016 8:24:00 AM)

    word-magic par excelance, despite the sketchy meaning

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (9/14/2016 1:17:00 AM)

    To a standstill! ! Thanks for sharing.

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