Sunday, May 02, 2004

During her reading at the Rosenbach, Susan Stewart used hand signals literally to indicate the presence of virgules & parentheses. Afterwards, she suggested that she would never do that “in a real reading,” a phrase that caught my attention. Susan Stewart most recently won the National Books Critic Circle Award for Poetry for Columbarium. In the fall, she will begin teaching at Princeton.


A constant of gravitation


the G

is liminal / like a door


(on one side, enclosure)

on the other / eternity


the knock in the night / a fury


awakens the sleepers / unto nothing

yet (silence)


footsteps recede /

like the furious dead


to silent night

unbalanced / a jury


(or the glad all at once

into happy roar)


unbalanced / like a door


on one side receding

(on the other meeting)


like call / and response


without response (like



like keening / like



Into the heaven of heavens

I presumed an earthly guest


who showed up late (as monster as divine)


Gone from the glass was the ghost of a god


the guest of a chance / not yet the host.