I am a blind person who lives in Saint Paul, MN with a lovely woman and a handsome dog. In the past I tried to teach English to adult humans and to computers, that is, I taught ESL and wrote language software. You can find links to my poems and essays at my blog, lippenheimer.wordpress.com.
Once the word made flesh, these books
are now flesh only, letters
grown invisible; still to me
they offer memory and touch.
Homer with his nubbly cover,
the raggedly-cut pages
unsettling as a deformity;
Chaucer’s thick brick, stained with the memory
of late-night coffee and the voluptuous
expanse of those long end-notes—
the kind of good-bye I have in mind
is gonna take more space than we have here.
Today’s poets are harder to distinguish, thin
and shiny and angular as
supermodels; I press a sharp
corner into my fingertip
until the pain suffices.
I do not think that they will sing to me...
But these are puppets, not corpses, awaiting
re-animation by a human voice,
The breath that came before the stylus.
Blind, I begin by calling out
like the blind Homer: “Sing, Goddess!”
(First published in Wordgathering, September 2015)
There Were Giants in the Earth in Those Days
At first it feels like rock.
I’m leaning hard on the digger,
twisting it down in a double helix,
when soft dark soil gives way to clay
raw and arterial and
cleaving to itself like flesh.
I am not the little boy who left home,
who talked in barnyard noises, who
wore the same clothes day and night
for weeks, no, not at all, I am fourteen now,
back at my mother’s house, but helping
my big brother build a deck. Perfectly
normal, no need to think
about what’s been in the basement
rotting since last year’s flood, about
Mom’s naked bulk, plodding from room to room.
Alarmed by this bright orifice,
uneasy at the wound’s
moist tenacity, I summon
what strength I have and cleave
each slurping peel. I think,
if I don’t leave the hole too shallow,
if the post is sunk just so, then all
the angles will stay clean and true
for a while.
© 2017 Roy White
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