Poetry

One Poem by Peter Gizzi

Our poetry editor, Wendy Xu, has selected one poem by Peter Gizzi for her monthly series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

Robert Marshall, “Car Window 30” (2017), UV curable ink on mirrored Dibond, 15 x 20 in (image courtesy the artist)

 

That I Saw the Light on Nonotuck Avenue

 

That every musical note is a flame, native in its own tongue.

That between bread and ash there is fire.

That the day swells and crests.

That I found myself born into it with sirens and trucks going by
out here in a poem.

That there are other things that go into poems like the pigeon,
cobalt, dirty windows, sun.

That I have seen skin in marble, eye in stone.

That the information I carry is mostly bacterial.

That I am a host.

That the ghost of the text is unknown.

That I live near an Air Force base and the sound in the sky is death.

That sound like old poetry can kill us.

That there are small things in the poem: paper clips, gauze, tater
tots, and knives.

That there can also be emptiness fanning out into breakfast rolls,
macadam, stars.

That I am hungry.

That I seek knowledge of the ancient sycamore that also lives in
the valley where I live.

That I call to it.

That there are airships overhead.

That I live alone in my head out here in a poem near a magical
tree.

That I saw the light on Nonotuck Avenue and heard the cry of a
dove recede into a rustle.

That its cry was quiet light falling into a coffin.

That it altered me.

That today the river is a camera obscura, bending trees.

That I sing this of metallic shimmer, sing the sky, the song, all of
it and wonder if I am dying would you come back for me?

 

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Peter Gizzi is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently, Archeophonics (finalist for the 2016 National Book Award), In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems 1987-2011, and Threshold Songs. Just out from The Brother in Elysium is a small book entitled, New Poems. For more info visit petergizzi.org.

 

Readers are encouraged to submit 3–5 poems as a PDF to Wendy Xu for consideration at [email protected]

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