Sunday, September 5, 2010

Terzanelle 4 Rent

The apartment's windows vibrate white wavelengths
& these resemble nothing so much as a sublime rendition
of Rhapsody in Blue played back with the volume off;

in between I floated deaf as an umbrella raised
in June in its positive-thinking weather & you
resembled nothing so much as a sublime rendition

of resentment like The Waltz of the Flowers backwards;
so many frequencies criss-crossed it felt like silence
in June in its positive-thinking weather & you

spoke mouthfuls the way a potted cyclamen speaks,
the syntax reversed; there were lots of objects falling;
so many frequencies criss-crossed it felt like silence

it felt like a petunia screwed into one's lapel;
the petals must give you a headache budding like that
their syntax reversed; there were lots of objects falling

like petals that give you a headache budding;
our apartment's windows vibrated white wavelengths
the green-skinned nights we got tipsy on jazz & streetlights
& Rhapsody in Blue played back with the volume off

Jack Hayes
© 2010

4 comments:

willow said...

Nice. "...deaf as an umbrella raised in June" really grabbed me!

John Hayes said...

Hi Willow: Thanks! This is an early poem by San Francisco standards--I know it was written in 90 or 91--among the earliest in the collection.

Mairi said...

I just looked up terzanelles and can't quite figure out the requirements from the outline or the example. They seem to be variable. This one is ingenious. The word 'corruscations' often comes to mind when I read your work. Verbal or linguistic corruscations.
I just delivered my daughter to university. The dollhouse poem is more about that than housekeeping. I'd been storing the sight of the egrets for a couple of weeks, waiting for a moment to use them. They were stunning. One of those visions vouchsafed once in a lifetime.

John Hayes said...

Hi Mairi: Thanks--to be honest, I don't remember the exact form for a terzanelle either, but since my Charlottesville days I've tended to play a bit fast & loose with forms. I assumed your dollhouse poem was about that--it's a really beautiful piece of work & the egrets were put to work in a very good way. Best wishes to your daughter as she starts university life.