Pick-a-Poem: Clare Rossini


Welcome, blog readers, to another installment of our weekly Pick-a-Poem feature. Each week, we feature a new poet and his or her work here on the blog. If you’re looking for a mid-week poetry break, we hope you like what you find here. These poems all come to us from Poetry Daily, which is a very helpful website that features a new poem every day. This week we’re featuring Prologue to a Text by Clare Rossini.

According to her bio on the PoetryNet website, Clare Rossini has published three collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Lingo (University of Akron Press, 2006). Her first collection was a finalist for a Small Press Book Award. In addition, her work has appeared in various publications, such as The Iowa Review, Poetry, and the Best American Poetry series. She is currently Artist-in-Residence at Trinity College in Hartford.

Prologue to a Text by Clare Rossini

We humans once lived in the moment,
The moment being all there was. Stuffing our mouths

With berries, we collapsed on the ground to make
An early forerunner of love. Then wind

Brought the stink of a predator’s haunch, panic
Ensuing. How divine it must have seemed

When, at last, we had time to ponder clouds
As they built their chateaus. Grunts into words,

Words into the updraft of questions—
A miracle to carry the world

On the tongue: “world.” Even the heart at last
Consigning itself to syllables: Ah, thee….

The numbers tidying things up, the numbers
Knitting things to equations, the theorems

Proposing, revising, secreting, each
Tool-in-theory awaiting our genius,

Our heartache, until damp and wood-colored,
This morning dawned, the smell of burning leaves

Drifting across my sepia mood,
Every doorway in the house yawning empty.

You, elsewhere, lift a screen in the air (Got it!)
Then send an image toward the chill

Draughts of space. It flickers through a satellite, free-
Falls back to the planet

—Let’s pause for a moment, behold earth
Cloud-swaddled, gamboling around our star….

Somewhere in New Jersey, a tower corrals
Your cache of photons, beams them on

To the privacy of my circuits, which are roused
By your elation: Check out this sunset,

Love! A finger to the warm flesh of glass,
And my screen goes bronze with a Roman dusk.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured poem! For more posts like this, click here.

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


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