The Disaster Of Grace - Poem by Michael Brennan
It’s true the mirror was in love, finding itself in every face.
It was not a function of syntax. His life was slurred.
Yes, it’s true, the heart hid in the dark with the dream of light.
How did you disguise yourself with only a pause?
How hungry I grew after the lean years.
The mirror stole the face I would have traded for such emptiness.
All those wars of attrition. Silly lovers.
If I could reach you with anything but myself, what then might begin?
Rest maybe. When the sleepless awake. When the dreamers sleep.
What gentleness, the bricks barely brush these first flowers.
Ahk, sly dog, teaching me touch.
My hands fell apart in yours.
Poor soul, dance upon my feet awhile.
Hunger, never leave me alone.
All that I left was a beginning.
I could have cried for him, but for his friendship.
No, not her, the drinking was alone.
Oh, that the half-hearted might find each other!
It was mid-winter when his eyelids said their farewells to each other.
Over those long months, the light remembered the heart’s darkness.
When the mirror finally touched me, it was drunk.
What ugliness, the self reflecting, the others looking on.
Will it be gone tomorrow? Tomorrow. When did it begin?
It was a terrible joke. A century of wars you say?
When my coffee is finished and the rain begins and I leave, please, oh please, this time, break into song.
I dried out when the rain held the promise of colour against the sun.
When did my youth get the paunch and knowing look?
Every word, given time, believes it’s another.
That’s a cheap trick, paying for dinner then growing old together.
I no longer know if I held it against you, or if it held me from you.
Little devil, youth, with your bad memory and tall tales.
I dreamed of you, friend, this great world without a face.
Oh, don’t molest me, words, randy little hot’n’tots.
Stop talking. You won’t make honey from mortar.
Why did you stop? Were your vowels cumbersome and long?
Such complicity! Praise this long life of late-running buses!
OK, OK, have your way, senseless little things, consonants and accretions, you shuffling orgy gone hungry.
Where were you, trouble, when I needed you?
Such tenderness swapping partners, words, holding hands pretending to be friends.
Look, snorkleporkle! All these years together, neither of us aged.
What happiness, a lifetime of delusions against the muttering and miracles.
Cough it up, eh. That love of yours. Hawk it out, a good big gob, rough as it is.
Hey, jerk, stop dreaming me up with such chinless ease!
Don’t leave me alone with words. Who will they talk too?
All that tough talk dented the beak of the bird pecking at your temple.
Go on, scuttle off, skip-ship, flip-flap. I’ll keep your rudder safe `til you get back.
Ah, sweet feet of clay, what beautiful shapes you might still become!
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