Cambridge Book Review

[Issue #2, Spring & Summer 1998]


Canto 59 Did you really mean

R. Virgil Ellis


Did you really mean to call into question
the given?

To let cupped hands dissolve

legs merge with upright spine

warmth flow with the rising tones
of the body's song swelling in the broad reaches
above the forehead?

And did you really want the sense of threat,
leaping thoughts refusing to recognize their cage
the top of your mind open to
thoughts clawing the air that might claw back?

Give me a focus, give me a focus,
cries the making mind,
senses unaligned.

Fingers dissolving on the keys.
Wrists held up like stubs.
Forearms, upper arms, underarms, disarmed.

Shoulders, rib cage. Spine a trunk
swaying in tune with the breath and oh the breath
the taking and the giving

March winds rise a gust up the spine
shakes the possum awake

giving where self gives up its lies

Canto 8 | Canto 13 | Canto 21 | Canto 60
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