November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
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Martin Willitts, Jr./Poetry

Swimming In the Whispering

1.

I was not going to be long,
I promised.
I promised and hoped to die.
I swore on a name no one would say lightly,
without feeling dread.
The same fear one has of drowning,
arms tired of flailing, giving into the undertow,
going under currents, into something
so dark, we do not speak of it.

2.

I went out into the beginning of darkness.
This is before the owls are ready
and the moon is not in ascension.

I went out into the beginning of things,
a screen door swinging behind me
as an afterthought.

Out,
where things are never ready
and I was not ready either.

3.

I went into that night-sweat, frosted echo,
into the heartbeat of loss, into things
whispered, things barely beginning
and barely ending, and barely neither,

at the hour when things are closing,
doors are bolted and lights of regret are turned on,
where the trajectory of meteor showers
follows loss, follows the wrenching sun,

where night holds wind against its will,
where the sun is in the given-up. Into this
is where I was headed, without light,
without knowing where I was going,

or how to come back,  and  not really caring.
I had turned out the light as I left,
locking the way behind me,
leaving the sound of the closing door far behind.

4.

I could have gone to the broken limestone quarry.
There things are blasted into stillness
and reduced into less than themselves.
I could have headed to the smoke station at the peak
with its ladders to Cooper Hawks
and into the streams of cloud cover.

I could have found the headquarters of tenderness, or
gone into remembrance or forgetfulness.
I could have found buoys of walnuts,
or climbed into the dazzlingness.

But, it was solid night as I left,
when no one in their right mind would go
without anything. And I left empty-handed.

5.

I went into the hibiscus moon, into
the eggplant-colored night.

I went out, realizing, I forgot something.
Then I decided it did not matter.

If I was intended to find my way, I would;
If not, then who would care?

When we walk out of the language of ourselves,
what are we looking for? Then what?

Will someone search for us in the sensuous longing?
Into the Whispers?

There are only so many words to step out of.
Only so much drowning in air.

About the poet:

Martin Willitts, Jr., was nominated for two Best of The Net awards and his 5th Pushcart award. He has three new chapbooks: “The Girl Who Sang Forth Horses” (Pudding House Publications, 2010), “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers for Cezanne” (Finishing Line Press, 2010), “True Simplicity” (Poets Wear Prada Press, 2011).


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2 comments

1 Zaira Rahman { 04.01.11 at 5:46 am }

Very deep poem. Quite thought provoking. I really liked it. Especially these lines..

If I was intended to find my way, I would;
If not, then who would care?

and

Will someone search for us in the sensuous longing?
Into the Whispers?

There are only so many words to step out of.
Only so much drowning in air.

2 Joseph Lindsley { 04.02.11 at 11:35 am }

This was not the day to read this poet.
A friend of mine is dying.
Everything I read seems to have death in all it’s permutations
coming to the top like cream unpasteurized.
I’ll turn out the lights as I leave.