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II Beyond the sill the day has started and quit. The sheet has cut offmy head; my mirror's Still deep with the whole night, And the road has made great progress Into the wall. A fly goes all around In a big balance. I used to lie here, darling, With unimproved light: I took it from your brow To mine, a glimmer over well-springs, Not zoned, not floor-planned for death. But a building you can see through is rising: They are settling and dressing the stones That pain from everywhere, so long as human, Fastens onto like clothespins. Lie still, though; We're not hanging. You are always covered By your smooth forehead and your eyelids; You are grazed by no tissued humming Ofrazor wire, or by the shadows that come out Framing, scraping, hosing-down sides ofglass, And leave for a specified time The sides oftheir heads against banks. Farmers afragment with AndreFrenaud There are not many meteors over the flat country Ofthe old; not one metaphor between the ploughblade And the dirt not much for the spirit: not enough To raise the eyes past the horizon-line Even to the Lord, even with neck-muscles like a bull's For the up-toss. The modest face has no fear Offollowing a center-split swaying track Through grain and straw To the grave, or ofthe honor ofwork Farmers / 467 With muck and animals, as a man born reconciled With his dead kin: When love gives him back the rough red ofhis face he dares To true-up the seasons oflife with the raggedness ofearth, With the underground stream as it turns its water Into the free stand ofthe well: a language takes hold And keeps on, barely making it, made By pain: the pain that's had him ever since school, At the same time the indivisible common good Being shared among the family Came clear to him: he disappears into fog He reappears he forces out his voice Over the field he extends his figures With a dead-right clumsiness, And the blazon that changes every year Its yellow and green squares, announces at each moment What must be said: the justice that the power ofman installs In exhausted fresh-air coupling with the earth. SloggerFigure ofglory Less and more than real, fooled always By the unforeseeable: so nailed by your steps Into the same steps so marked by wisdom calamitously come by, And always uncertain, valiantly balancing, So stripped, so hog-poor still, after a long day In the immemorial, that I cannot say to you Where you will hear me, Farmer, there will be no end to your knowing The pastures drawn breathless by the furrow, The fields, heartsick, unquenchable arid avid, The forgivable slowness, the whispered prophecies ofweather: Winter spring, the season that always comes through For you, and never enough, But only dies, turning out Double-tongue: Collaborations and Rewrites / 468 In its fragile green, its rich greens, To be nothing but the great stain ofblankness Changing againGravedigger On Sunday, you come back Monday to the laying-out In squares, ofyour infinite land thefurs ofsnow do not reach us When they should the moon has troubled the sown seed . . . Craters with Michel Leiris Roots out ofthe ground and ongoing The way we are, some ofthemSpokes earth-slats a raft made ofhumped planks Slung down and that's right: wired together By the horiwn: it's what these roads Are growing through: fatal roads, No encounters, the hacked grass burning with battle-songThen when we get our voices together, When we mix in that savage way, in the gully ofthroats Where the fog piles up, and we turn our long cadences loose Over the grooved pastures, the running fence ofsong Will flap and mount straight up for miles Very high, all staring stridulation, Softer than beer-hops: one ofthe days when the wind breathes slackly, Making the lightest perches tremble Like hostile stems interlacing, As in the heart a lock of blond hair knots on itself Suicidally, insolubly someone will plough-out a door, A staircase will dig itselfdown, its haunted spiral Will blacken and come out Craters / 469 ...


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