Fascicle of Poems by Franz Wright

 

The Wolves’ Birthday Party

Dim tunnel of trees, my forgotten

trees strew golden leaves
before her feet, but

will brother rapist
(address long unknown)
be attending
this year?  And

how does she like it;

how does it taste,
still being fed by
your torturers?

Where next reside?

And where propose
to live, persist

with parties such as those
concluding, emptying, locking
their doors to her once more—

 

 

Ventriloquism

Light from its wheelchair
spoke from locked basements
and psych wards, it spoke
from your average Homo sapiens’
startling alacrity
when it comes to
casting the first stone, or

risking drowning for others,
it spoke from the poor
of diamonds, the death
of hearts; too, the
suicides’ banquet,
gray fecal prison
air, the ancient

road still green,
from the
child
alone, always,
star-told;
and from you
and no other—. . .

 

 

Theology

There must be someone else
who wakes in fear alone;
too bad we can’t talk
on our tiny phone.
Someone hidden from the day

like me, preparing to endure the
resurrection of the body, ouch;
or the gentler life to come,
oblivion.  Who
mutters in synch with me, Christ

has come in the midst of the world
not to abolish suffering—
clearly!—
but to take part in it.
What does this mean?

 

 

Leave Me Hidden

I was having trouble deciding
which to watch:  Night
of the Living Bloggers, or
Attack of the Neck-Brace People.
In the end I just went for a walk.
In the woods I stopped wondering why
of all trees
this one:  my hand
pressed to fissures
and ridges of
bark’s hugely magnified
fingerprint, forehead
resting against it
finally, feeling
distinctly
a heartbeat, vast, silently
booming
there deep in my own
hidden leaves, blessed
motherworld, personal
underworld,
thank you,
thank you.

 

 

Flint Pond

I walk alone
in the  Lincoln woods
as though from room to room of
some vast mansion whose owner’s
not at home but will be
soon, and meanwhile’s
watching
me invisibly
and critically,
not too,however.  And
kindly, pitying to
some degree as sunshine
swiftly changes, comes
and goes
and comes again.

 

 

The Poem (2)

Mrs. Alone is always home;
but don’t try to phone
Mrs. Alone,

Mrs. Alone
isn’t answering the phone.
She is writing the poem,

just leave her alone:
the words may still come,
startling her awake like a phone

ringing in the night.  Why
she may even try scribbling them down,
if she can somehow overcome

the fear, its deafening dial tone
in her ear where she lies
dressed in night listening, listening.


Franz Wright is widely regarded as one of America's finest living poets. His collections include Walking to Martha's Vineyard (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003) which received a Pulitzer Prize, The Beforelife (2001), Ill Lit: New and Selected Poems (1998), Rorschach Test (1995), The Night World and the Word Night (1993), and Midnight Postscript (1993).

He has a new collection coming out in Fall 2009 from Knopf called Wheeling Motel; the poems in Free Verse come from a brand new, so-far nameless work-in-progress.