> The Poetry of Luther Jett: Kinesthesia



(For James A. Gardner)





Publication History





Sunset dreams the town
from simple flesh to being:
     murmur of voices
     from porch-shadows;
     twilightleaves, pine-
and the silent greyfield
justoutside the limits, in
churchshadow,      there,      too,
is the interminable       hum.

          It is a sense
     that can only be
          through conflation:
by portmanteau into apprehension.

And I hear as if
distantly in passing beyond
the arc of kitchenglow
    (alone on the street)
just                    outofrange:
     fathervoice calling
     an evenwish;
     insect and nightbird;
     lovers quarrelsoft.

     * little       town *

Slow      progress      of      lamps
winking out from center climbing steepstreet dark
     toward            townedge.
Sleepy horses.
Child cries for one-more-game
before the coverturning,
       the G-dblessing.
Damp taste of metal on nightbreeze:
          "storm comin' up"
           * lumpthroat *

And it is not with us now as it was then
      of softwind and lullulation

     Something broke the dam
     and the lachrymal flood
     poured forth:
the confusion of innocence blamed
     for this condition
strikes glowworm avenues beneath
chestnut and darkelm passing:
     blight invasion;
     goldenhome made dim;
     clapboards cracking;
     dust has overtaken

One               by               one

Until all that is left are these:
     Whispergrate of steps on gravelpath;
     strayboard      and      brokenpane;
     darkness        at      roadsnarrow;
     and      hills beyond
where phantoms of invisible
     and forgotten adventures cry
          for one-last-ocean,      one
last                          morningdance.
But town's shut down tight by ghostmachine:
     Doctor chokes on aneurism;
     Tinker succumbs to rust;
     Lamplighter drops the tallow;
     Vine     withers     cattle
         going       dry        mother
and      night   is       still.

There is no     one     word for some things.

               No          one

Cutsky razorslash and forklight
shake the fundament as greyfield
opens     (skull)     opens     (mouth)
          * shadowover *
        *   eyestartle   *
     (  cast   from   dream )

*  the   only   way   to   break *

     out of that blast
e   m   e   r   g   i   n   g
   (There is no one word)
       Last lamp left shining
on the black height terminal trees final
     f   i   r   e   f   l   y



Originally published in GW Review, 1999.

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