Paul Hoover

Harrisonburg, Virginia
Paul Hoover
Harrisonburg, Virginia

The World as Found

"All these things the creator told me in Alabama."
—Sun Ra

Mariposa, what a clean word is that!
It can fly around all day
and never get mud on its wings.
It makes a clean sound as it passes right through me—
almost nothing really.

Mud sprawls on the ground, completely helpless.
Who can ever respect it?

Mariposa, butterfly-
so pretty and maybe crazy,
like Blanche Dubois as a girl.
Even Schmetterling
has a cadence true to its ideal.

Words in my mouth
are preparing for summer,
giving birth to themselves again.

It isn't rocket science.
Everyone knows their names:
barranco and embankment,
noises and ruidos—
get down on your knees and pray!
A beautiful woman is passing,
and, if you insist, a man.
Words of skin and bone.

Where's my refuge and my trap,
Where do they go when I think them?
All day the words are at me,
coming and going and meaning,
and in the evening also.
It's the traffic of the world.

But at night, if it happens
that I sink into her body,
there is no word, not even silk,
to tell you what I'm thinking.
Sound spills from my mouth,
shapeless all around us.
Friday, December 9, 2016
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