Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Tuesday poem #457 : Wayne Miller : WHAT I KNOW ABOUT TIRANA



Tirana is a heavy disc of silence
slipped between the mountains and the sea.
Beneath that silence:

thumbing car horns,
particles of language sailing on the air.
In the towering trees

above the Lana River, a cloud
of chirping so dense its outline
can almost be traced in the waxy green.

The children in the schoolyard
are a wellspring of sound,
and in the museum

a swallow caught in the upper gallery
pulls circles around the room
as if on a string. What else?

The muezzin’s call
is light glinting off a needle. What else?
Inside the chessbox of this poem,

old men are walking arm-in-arm
across a square, the medieval castle
has grown luminous

with shopping. What else?
The city has slipped again beneath itself.
What else? A travel poem

is like a discharged patient
recalling the days he spent with nurses—
their voices that brushed

against him for simple things,
having covered such a distance
just to cross the room.



Wayne Miller is the author of five poetry collections, most recently We the Jury (Milkweed, 2021) and Post- (2016), which won the UNT Rilke Prize and the Colorado Book Award. He has co-translated two books by the Albanian writer Moikom Zeqo—most recently Zodiac (Zephyr, 2015), which was shortlisted for the PEN Center USA Award in Translation—and he has co-edited three books, most recently Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century (Milkweed, 2016). He teaches at the University of Colorado Denver, co-directs the Unsung Masters Series, and edits Copper Nickel. 

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan


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