Sunday, April 28, 2013

you talk of art - joan murray

You talk of art, of work, of books.
Have you ever sat down, thought all that's to do?
That book to read, that book to write,
Sat down, stood up, walked back and forth,
Because not an action you could do would
Fill the gap that's wanting action to the chin?

Look. Look into the past one damned moment,
And on that you ask me to work, to dream, to do?
Try it yourself on nothing. I can't.

Every confounded one has had so much of life
that left them gasping in a stinking or a lighter air,
Left out of breath and glad to think at last,
Higher or lower, their there and there to there.

And where am I? Where I began, and where I'll end:
Sitting, sitting, with the last grain of will
Rotting in time, and there's no time or tide in me.

You talk of art, of work, of books.
I'll talk of nothing in its lowest state,
Talk till my jaw hangs limply at the joint,
And the talk that's one big yawn in the face of all of you,
Empty as head, empty as mood, and weak.
And I can hear all the watery wells of desolation
Lapping a numbing sleep with in the head.

Murray, Joan. "You Talk of Art" Modern Canadian Poets. Jones, Evan and Todd Swift, eds. Manchester: Carcanet Press Limited, 2010. 74.