08 April 2009

Jay Wright....and Jay Wright

I meant to post this last week, during the NCAA Tournament: much of the time when folks were talking about Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright, my mind kept going back to the poet Jay Wright! Now that we have a poetry-reading, basketball playing President, perhaps this confusion isn't all that odd. Those of us here in Baltimore also know that the (Paul Laurence) Dunbar High School basketball team is called "The Poets," (our Afaa Michael Weaver wrote a great poem about them) and of course there's our Poe Poem-named Football Team....I guess it's no wonder I get sports and literature mixed up!

In any case, here's the opening movement ('Equation One') of one of Jay The Poet's recent books, Music's Mask and Measure:

This ordinary language finds
rhythm in ambiguous flame,
that stable density of one
and one, the urgent displacement
that nurtures light.

Call it dancing in place,
a preparation
for movement, an impulse
that will awaken
a manifest order.

The astronomer has measured
the shadows. The resting body
measures its abrupt intention.
Who now has measured the waters
in the hollow?

Fall unveils the acute
aconitum, blue
light against the garden's
edge. You might hear
a greenish bird in flight.

Does water dream of seven green
saris, or of the melodic
inversion of sorrow, and will
episode and exposition
be love enough?

Return now to the hills
in balance, the field
of turbulent disguise,
the nothing that is,
the mountain's graceful scale.


Who would go into the river
to recover a seed, or sit
with a blacksmith and bard in high
lament? There is a universe
of such molecular intent
the water folds.

A cascade of bear at
this spot might bring us
justice, a particle death
and resurrection,
the ambivalent gift
from Artemis.

Seneca praised the conjugal
craft, the thread and disposition
equivalent to a young bride's
fortune, though he had never worn
the peplos nor sworn peace to a
troubled city.

Monday is diffident.
The rosebud ignores
its shy austerity.
But should this bubbling
authority now come
to a quiet end?

The anti-ascetic river
sets no limits upon the tau
or the attributes of lotus,
a water pot that holds the light.
Resignation comes hard on this
side of Being.

1 comment:

John K said...

"Resignation comes hard on this side of Being." That says so much, almost all of it. Thank you for this!