Poem from Slate: Jack Marshall

Image source: http://thisgurllovesjune.blogspot.com

Hello, readers. I want to extend my apologies for the late posting of this poem, but sometimes real life gets in the way of blogging. This is technically Slate’s poem from two weeks ago, but — well — like I said, real life sometimes gets in the way of blogging.

Pressing on, this poem is entitled The Beautiful Hidden and is written by Jack Marshall. As always, you should check out Slate’s page for this poem and listen to Jack Marshall read The Beautiful Hidden aloud. Make it your two minutes to be quiet and just appreciate some art during your day. Just take a moment to do nothing else and listen to the poem.

Jack Marshall has published 12 books of poetry (the most recent, The Steel Veil, 2008), and a memoir, From Baghdad to Brooklyn 2005; a book-length poem, TRACE (for which he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship), will appear in 2012.

The Beautiful Hiddenby Jack Marshall

He was talking about the hidden. He had
come from chemo. We sat in the car.
Facing straight ahead,

he looked too tired to turn
and face me.
His friend had driven him

and stopped to chat. “His mind is
pure, his house is a mess;
he’s a pain in the ass,”

she said. “I take him every week.” Rapt,
still facing front in the passenger seat,
a mummy just out of the crypt,

with all the time behind him staring at all
that lay ahead. To see
such zeal

was not to envy it.
It wasn’t patience, more like practiced
foreboding, which might

bring forth foreseeing the unseeable, which could
not be seen
before it is, he said.

“The beautiful does not exist
somewhere before it is
bidden and made manifest;

it is not waiting to be seen.
It comes from the force of attraction and life-
giving power” … Then,

I swear, out of nowhere, two deer
come clattering down the street, two mighty, meaty
four-hoofed tap-dancers

on tiptoe,
skidding sparks, at the intersection
stop, and look off: a deer and a doe in El Cerrito,

peering toward San Pablo Avenue, tails
twitching panic in their pause, turn,
and head toward the hills.

Thanks for reading!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

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