Thursday, March 08, 2007

Paul Violi

Appeal to the Grammarians

We, the naturally hopeful,
Need a simple sign
For the myriad ways we're capsized.
We who love precise language
Need a finer way to convey
Disappointment and perplexity.
For speechlessness and all its inflections,
For up-ended expectations,
For every time. we're ambushed
By trivial or stupefying irony,
For pure incredulity, we need
The inverted exclamation point.
For the dropped smile, the limp handshake,
For whoever has just unwrapped a dumb gift
Or taken the first sip of a flat beer,
Or felt love or pond ice
Give way underfoot, we deserve it.
We need it for the air pocket, the scratch shot,
The child whose ball doesn't bounce back,
The flat tire at journey's outset,
The odyssey that ends up in Weehawken.
But mainly because I need it—here and now
As I sit outside the Caffe Reggio
Staring at my espresso and cannoli
After this middle-aged couple
Came strolling by and he suddenly
Veered and sneezed all over my table
And she said to him, "See, that's why
I don't like to eat outside."

Paul Violi : "Overnight "
Hanging Loose Press

Paul Violi: Overnight is Paul Violi's eleventh book of poems. On receiving the Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he was cited for "bringing the sharpness and surprise of the avant-garde to a poetry that continually impresses by its honesty, its sincerity, and its clarity. One is taken through the solidest and strongest emotional landscapes on a remarkable new road." Recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in poetry as well as grants from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, The Fund for Poetry, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts and many other awards, he currently teaches in the New School's graduate writing program and at Columbia University.

* source - Poetry Daily

1 comment:

Mechaieh said...

Ooh, I missed this. Thanks for featuring it.

(procrastinating via Reb Livingston's linklist)