Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tuesday poem #349 : Tom Snarsky : STARLAKE

Liking tweets like finding a path through birdsong
Letting the algorithm tell me what music

To listen to, feeding it “Silver Dagger”
By Joan Baez and even though she says “Sing

No songs”* they come anyway, forever, the
Knife in the song’s mother’s palm notwithstanding

I boarded a raft bound for the edge of the
World but never made it, only found water

Roiling until even the gulls flew inland
To get away from it, its simple rhythm

Too calm and lasting too long for us to keep
Up with, despite counting beats on the riptide

Being sometimes our only way to survive
*Sorry it’s “Don’t sing love songs” with “don’t” and “love”

Almost unstressed, the music the crucial part
Of the line, over against the omitted

Command (“Don’t [..] love”) that “Silver Dagger”’s speaker

Ends up following by the song’s envoi, a
Pushing away of the moon and stars of love

Back into the dark lake of the heart from which
They arose in her lover’s chest, not yet song

But getting close enough to earn a warning
Who among us isn’t terrified to think

Of one person we love killing another
The blood on the knife dripping predictably

Another metronome of salt in this poem
Already so heavily disfavoring


Tom Snarsky is a special education math teacher at Malden High School in Malden, Massachusetts, USA. He is the author of Threshold, a chapbook of poems from Another New Calligraphy, and Recent Starred Trash, which is forthcoming from marlskarx. He lives in Chelsea, MA with his wife Kristi and their two cats, Niles and Daphne.

The Tuesday poem is curated
by rob mclennan

No comments: