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  • The Habit Of Poetry
  • Claire Harris

                    somethinganythingby definition                finite alive only                                to the moment                so the web of our poem                                warp observation                                weft art

        still s(l)ungif s(l)inging is    & possible

      the dream                              serape against the cold                              a(gains)t knowing

postures          of the imagination

                  ideas tothinness alltrim & old cloth              faded                    full of holes &                lyricism yet still struggling                    to clothe this un/new era

to shout            'human'                                as where the naked are criminal

a faith      too long in the tootha craft      too long in light of sight sound a particular            rhythm a stranger knowing              cosmetic to spotty angst                              fear [End Page 1045]

so the poem a scrap trapped in ancient ice (O but          she hath a lovely face god in her wisdom grant                her grace                    or something like

therefore coffined      eternal rest unto etc.                dead of quanta/relativity/chaos/theory/                    our politics its whimper                its constant careless murder                              of possibilitydead of ourselves                our long lingering absorptionwith the body                  our search for easesecurity                      and no                holy land its absenceanywheredead of fear

            & we unable to stand            our own frantic per(re)versions    dead of this instant constant knowingwe would rather not have our lovely    only planet in blast & heave              lies deep as icebergs              & calving

                    this century long wake                        to do with need    our minds rags      our grip slow                  thin wintry flattening

                      the safe comfortable (un)knownour mo(u)rnings for

                  now this old poetic cloth        before TV before Gates-blasted hearths                      stripped to hobby                          say rag-rugs          perhaps honor to the ancestors                their innocence                a marking time          a writing ourselves downin case [End Page 1046]

            where technologies mass their brilliant                    terror prepare to whirl                        curl the earth into            hot embrace to sweep the plains            off their feet dance them to sleep

with outpassion

Bless me Mother for I am sinning

this new ethos          so human                    so & (instinctive this move to what ishard      edged        bitter        but      is      order

                    in this false & murderous century

                        how difficult this art:    makeitrealnewtrueusefulcommonplacemakeitglideevensing

                              how faint grace

                            andhow with every line this poem          this hope fails

                            we              alone                    in its/our own cold intensities

thus        on towards

Rock of ages DA-DA-DA- HOW I PLACE MY FAITH IN THEE [End Page 1047]



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