REVIEW AMERICANA

 

Spring 2013

Volume 8, Issue 1

http://www.americanpopularculture.com/review_americana/spring_2013/ives.htm




RICH IVES

 

Function and the Offered Rock

 

what shall we make of a stone sculpture
a rock that has been carved is no longer a rock
but what if the rock already looks like a sculpture
and what if the sculpture it appears to be
is something a man needs

at first sculptures were made of wood
and could be transported from place to place
to serve important functions like holding up food
and bending to fling arrows around and storing
water and killing things that irritate you

a rock holds what it thinks inside a rock is always busy
a rock can tie itself in knots and no one will notice
a rock has developed theories about everything even
why theories should be developed a rock never
hides behind a rock because no one notices

now kinetic sculpture has been used by Denver
to improve dental hygiene and wax the floor
of the federal building but not until recently
was it allowed to be art and we still
don’t know what to do about that

a sculpture may have the eye of a clam
and nothing as valuable as sadness to say
a sculpture seems to be a law about my life
I don’t know what it is and I don’t like it much
it makes me a guest when I want my own house

the stone world is an eye turned inward its
body diffuse like something indecent without
something decent to define it my broken
soul is out there dancing upon my soul
I wish I knew which one of them to use

a sculpture was trying to say I’ll give you back
but I don’t want you to pretend you know me I suppose
a reliable rock should say something about durable love so
I’ll climb inside and not choose what I’m doing to myself
in your name I’ll cover myself with nakedness I’ll eat

 

 

Little Disasters of Moonlight

 

if a disaster should worry it would be about censorship
because a disaster really has too much to say whereas
a man may talk just as much as a disaster but have
so little to say that we should stop him and refine
his approach to become as subtle as a disaster’s
he could pretend he’s talking about something else
like fences and birds and places he doesn’t want to visit

a tree really should be worried about talking too much
because you can hear a tree all the time and a man
could pay attention to the screaming and cut it down
or get annoyed by its flapping leaves and set it on fire
we should enclose the tree in a large clear box and
put a switch on the box to let out the noise
when we wish to pretend we’re listening

a lonely cloud might speak to the  other box we contain
when the tree’s box seems silent and restrained and
when it rains the clear box might begin singing
softly from the outside because leaves don’t stop
whispering death only makes it harder to hear them
and one tree can pass on what another is saying
because rain is a device for translation containing
languages from places we’ve never reached

lately a man has begun noticing how much shadow
frequently seems about to speak though of course
it would be ambiguous but so is shadow’s silence
the man can’t be sure the words aren’t thrown
but he’d rather have something risky to consider
so he follows his shadow on a questionable night
and his shadow no longer leans out from his body
to whisper aside little disasters of moonlight

 

 

 



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