Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 3: A Relic, Nick Flynn, "Amber"

Most blog posts start with the word "I."  It centers the post on the poster.  Freezes a moment in time.  Tonight, after I hit "Publish," this little reflection will be an artifact of my life.  The bones of the dinosaur of May 3, 2016, at 9:26 p.m.

I try not to make every post I write about me.  Switch it up.  Tonight, it's about posterity.  I wonder, two or ten or twenty years from now, when someone stumbles across this little time capsule, what that someone will think.  That I'm a raging egomaniac, maybe.  That's I'm writing about absolutely nothing, maybe.  That all I'm writing right now is just prelude to the main event:  another poem by Poet of the Week Nick Flynn.  That's a little closer.

Here's what I want preserved in this little piece of amber:  my daughter sitting with me on the couch, watching a documentary about Janis Joplin; my wife and son asleep in the other room; outside, rain falling off and on; some kind of cold sitting in my chest; and a feeling that everything is right, okay, good even.

That's Saint Marty's relic for this night.


by:  Nick Flynn

the imagined center, our tongues
grew long to please it, licking

the walls, a chamber built of scent,

a moment followed by a lesser moment
& a hunger to return. It couldn't last. Resin

flowed glacially from wounds in the bark
pinned us in our entering
as the orchids opened wider. First,

liquid, so we swam until we couldn't.
Then it felt like sleep, the taste of nectar

still inside us. Sometimes a flower

became submerged with us. A million years
went by. A hundred. Swarm of hoverflies,
cockroach, assassin bug, all

trapped, suspended

in that moment of fullness,
a Pompeii, the mother

covering her child's head forever.

Doesn't look a thing like me . . .

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