shock and aftershock
eruption and quiet
downpour of images, now
quiescent, december one.
the humid respite after coupling,
acrid silence after gunshot,
there is a space after wonder,
as rest after creation.
The artist, even God, uses self up,
and there must be time to collect,
gather strength, sinew, a seventh day.
When the metaphors crawl,
when the well is more stingy
though the arm toil no less at the pump,
the heart darkens with amethyst wonder:
“will the muse sleep here again?”
will meaning vibrate again between
touch and color, the sound of things,
wriggling carelessly into words
representing life’s agony and elation
only like costumes, children on Halloween,
or, rarely, transparent actors?
Nothing is enough. Neither
the typhoon nor its eye, nor
the chase, nor embrace. But
better these inkstained knuckles,
blank paper, the haunted
sleep of the watchman, the ache
of a lover waiting a word,
than the silence after the encore,
the viscous glop of time while things grow.
Rory Cooney, 12/1/92