Poem for the Day: November 22nd, 2021

Wight by Stanley Plumly

In the dark we disappear, pure being.
Our mirror images, impure being.

Being and becoming (Heidegger), being and
nothingness (Sartre)—which is purer being?

Being alone is no way to be: thus
loneliness is the test of pure being.

Nights in love I fell too far or not quite
far enough—one pure, one impure being.

Clouds, snow, mist, the dragon's breath on water,
smoke from fire—a metaphor's pure being.

Stillness and more stillness and the light locked
deep inside—both pure and impure being.

Is is the verb of being, I the noun—
or pronoun for the purists of being.

I was, I am, I looked within and saw
nothing very clearly: purest being.

© 1999 Stanley Plumly. “Wight” first appeared in the May 1999 issue of Poetry Magazine.

Stanley Plumly (1939-2019) was greatly influenced by his working-class background, a fact which is evident in his work. He earned his B.A. at Wilmington College in Ohio and his Ph.D. at Ohio University. During his long career, he taught at the University of Iowa, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the University of Maryland. He also served as the poet laureate of Maryland for several years. You can read more about his life and work here.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 20th, 2021

Chorus Attempting to Interpret Unearthed Fragments of Their Play by Carolina Ebeid

Can you let go the concern
for how it began what happened

Here the word house remains
A reddening ( ) near house

To describe the sounds
coming in A human voice
barks through the window

the same voice like horsehair
stretched along the bow drawn
across the strings

Where the action is missing
we place ( ) A girl pours out

water from a pail flung up
so that the water arches
into a sickle in an instant
of daylight

The word swallows as a complaint
of swallows raiding the air
suddenly thick with gnats

When you notice the ash
you will mutter ash
& it will appear again: ash
on everything, behind the ears ash

Maybe this shadow belongs
to the house at 4:30
Shadow is a length of gauze
loosened over the garden

It began with blizzards
for nine hours

A cleft on the ceiling
or a cleft in the chest
No matter, a cleft let
the weather in

Here is a description
of a face in anger
a weather of arrows

Instead of counting sheep
the injured man folds clothes
in his head into heaps

Separate what is missing
from what’s disappeared

(here has been eaten by silverfish)
We are left to think of ( )

as the space between falling
asleep & waking up
Swallow can be a passage

the gullet, throat,
a grave in the ground
We’re surrounded by swallows

that open ( ) so fluent with bodies
nobodies

Here there was a story
& we were part of the after-
waves in a disaster

braiding wreaths of roadside flowers

The violet ones we’ll call purple daughters
The white ones: asylum lights

© 2019 Carolina Ebeid. Today’s poem originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Poetry Magazine.

Ebeid earned her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing her Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Denver. She currently lives in Colorado where she teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She also serves as poetry editor at The Rumpus and edits (with her husband, Jeffrey Pethybridge) Visible Binary, an online journal specializing in experimental poetics and avant-garde expression. She has been published in numerous journals both in print and online and has been awarded multiple fellowships, among them fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

You Ask Me To Talk About the Interior by Carolina Ebeid

She is the author of the poetry collection You Ask Me To Talk About the Interior, which was published in 2016 by Noemi Press and is available to purchase through Small Press Distribution.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.