Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bonus Poem of the Day: “Submergence” by David Pring-Mill

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Submergence” by David Pring-Mill.  A brief biography of the poet may be found here:   http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2015/07/poem-of-day-that-stomping-sensibility.html.


Submergence
David Pring-Mill

Sink,
a languid, pale being
in clawfoot tub,
with an oval bar
of tallow, opaque;
and the water itself
becomes less clear.
I am the being,
listening with delight
to the swirl
brought about by reaching toe…
My feet,
so scabbed.

The sandals didn't fit,
but the being marched
across the beach at nighttime
… until he fell.

Submergence is given
to things that fall,
things with weight…
The weight of thoughts
and the weight of bodies
both fluctuate.

Sink,
Then sit
as remaining droplets
combine, are pulled
over enamel
into drain, as if
by gravity's string,
along the careful angle
of porcelain tub,
My hand clasping,
over roll rim,
and just like that,
the being's foot
lands, dripping
upon the texture
of sprouting thread.

Once presentable,
I wander in shared spaces
Under sky;
Each step
is aided by the dead mind
of Ferragamo.
I wander, blink, and see things
I don't always believe.
And the voltage runs through me,
accelerates feet
insulated by suede

Through a store window,
one warped, televised broadcast
blares out:

"Recently,
officials identified
innumerable members of society
who had become disoriented.
They sulked in shadows,
questioning it all…"

The brume of ingenuity
rises, unsettling, over
a settled land,
of bulwarked circuitry,
beanstalk fusions
of silica,
the blush and glitter
of tired shames.

To slink away,
in Cimmerian shade,
The Being goes
with gingham stripes of lavender
adorning buttoned chest,
now dry;
lavender levity, redeeming
the mind's fraying thoughts.

Raccoon-eyed, a woman
moves slowly, her shoulders
hosting thin spaghetti straps,
which cling lovingly
to her,
Her cocktail dress, light, and body barely
separable from night
in sexy saunter;
as bulbs of inspired action, faltering words
fill up with light and then flicker…
Thought is weaker than tungsten,
And the filament breaks.

To slink away,
in Cimmerian shade,
the being, thwarted by sight,
loses sight of his thoughts,
becomes deaf to his own words…
He is a being resigned
to an unpredictable world,
and a wonderful world.

To pin my honesty
upon these wrecked rhythms,
I admit:
I follow the woman
(intending nothing)
into a café,
open late
and warmly glowing
out at cold, salty air.

She orders
a hot drink.

Her voice is soft,
raspy,
and her words come out
like little baby steps,
with clumsy spacing.
She is trying
to avoid making an impression,
as if doing so would be
an indentation
upon sacred ground.
She quietly
asks for what she wants,
and little more;
That is her,
it seems.
I smile.
Politely, I twist
uneasy words into request,
and ask
the barista for water;
that is all I want,
truly.

Later at night, of course,
I consider again
I touch
the consoling white threads
of my bathrobe.
I notice my monogram,
and consider that, too.

The delay of an item,
embroidered,
reflects the delay of a name;
so often, the baby conceived
precedes that task of naming.
how to name?
how to name a being
when it is still a thing,
to you?
How to cast a title
upon a life, so far,
led by nothing
but predictions and whims
of infantile, helpless parents?
Other times, perhaps
the name precedes the life
when the baby
is anything but accident,
is the fulfillment of plan.

My robe, tied tightly,
with elegant characters
interlocking 
in swirling cursive.
My letters, bold and illegible
in a hexagon.
what is this really?
A monogram…
the initials
of a man and his line
of blood; and yet
the bloodline is unseen,
how it mixed and swirled
to form characters of a different kind
(real people),
with all of them now
resigned to that secondary letter.

Nearby, a neck
with dots of follicles,
an Adam's apple, exposed
through shawl collar,
and a coughing, small mouth
with a cigarette bending
out of dried, cracked lips
drawn by slowly peeling
white-pink skin.
"Hmm, okay," the lips say.

I don't remember, of course,
the time when I first lost my body,
With thoughts risen and body submerged,
Even time belongs
In murky depths.

Expecting wild looks,
I find my way
to a nearby bar.
There, a blue collar type of man
paces outside,
with God-knows-what type of thoughts
racing and sputtering:
In his hands,
a bill, crisp and green.

In that moment, his thoughts
reorganize around new money;
with obligations dispelled,
possibilities permitted.
The bill slides
into his wallet, beneath a band
of metal, making
a center-crease.

There is dirt beneath
his nails,
blood encrusted, lightly
on newly-minted knuckles,
Dust powdering his boots
so completely,
and then a steel-toed stride
vibrates through panels
of wood, with that sweet
beer-stained odor
of rising, drying barley fumes
dizzying and seeping.
There is hacking, coughing,
as hands connected
to smoky lungs
reach down, tenderly pull
at the corners of money…

A crisp bill slides over
a cappuccino-finish surface
without any perk;
these renovated assets
so dimly lit,
near nylon-blend concourse,
hollow-sounding
clicks and slams
of ricocheted luck,
things spinning out of control
near betting men.
But in this fumbling daze of Friday,
all drops of clarity fall down throats
and burn.

We drink together,
and watch the game.
He is agreeable enough,
And to myself, in final thoughts,
I explain:
Life is both a window
and a mirror,
changing intermittently,
without warning:
transparent
& reflective.
When tensions rise,
I find myself
lashing out,
frustrated,
at that uncooperative being
lashing back.
And it is my own energy.
Yet at other times,
life is just a window:
and I must see
people as they are.
None of this lasts, you know.
We sink into the blackness of the universe.

Poet's Notes:  "Submergence" is really a poem about psychological burnout. The weight of existence seems to be cumbersome for the characters in this narrative poem; they are sinking. Their greatest burden is a pervasive fear – of words, love, legacy, and even clarity.

Editor’s Note:  This poem is aptly entitled, for I found myself submerging into it as I read--an interesting and not unpleasant feeling.  I enjoy the way the piece languorously meanders from topic to topic, setting to setting, wisdom to wisdom.

No comments:

Post a Comment

NO ANONYMOUS OR NEGATIVE COMMENTS, PLEASE. ONLY POSITIVE COMMENTS WITH ATTRIBUTION (YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS) WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION. OUR MODERATORS WILL SCREEN OUT ALL COMMENTS THAT DO NOT MEET THESE CRITERIA. ALL COMMENTS ARE SCREENED.

If you wish to provide suggestions, feedback, or constructive criticism to the Songs of Eretz staff, please send your thoughts to SWGordonMD@gmail.com. You may or may not receive a response, but your thoughts will be read.