Son of the Rock

for Z.

 

Isn’t it always thus?

I was going to write
about the disconnectedness
of everything

The cause of our disenchantment
In the perpetually
Enchanted world

Stupefied as with strong drink
Drugged but not with
Strong rhythms

When you appeared

Bearing something green
New for all its
Vast antiquity

The light playing over
Your head over
The book

Which in its proposals
Seems among other things
To say how all

May hold together

Blessèd
Son of the rock!
False etymologies

Prove true
In their way—
A way not

Of words but
Of flesh imbued
As you venture
With

“The sense of that force
Which we inherently possess
(Or which inherently

Possesses us?) over which
We each have expressive
& little other

Control”
—So that we contend
On that

“Mutual ground”

Selah
Zack—let us close
What can never really

Be closed
Risking all for the sake
Of the rhythm

Passing through
And beyond
The verse


Norman Finkelstein is the author of four books of poetry, including the three-volume serial poem Track, and four books of literary criticism.  Next fall, Marsh Hawk Press will publish Passing Over, a collection of poems from the late eighties and early nineties.  Recent work appears in Talisman, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review and the Cultural Society website (www.culturalsociety.org).  Finkelstein is a Professor in the English Department of Xavier University in Cincinnati.