Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jerry's Rattle

deviant art by justinstorm


wakes the dead.

It quacks.

I translate rocks
he said, I say pebbles,
I know ground
I know leather things
because they say.

When the eagle comes by itself
let it settle or fly off
who know what it carries in its beak
my business is to watch

watch with my rattle
watch with my mouth

with the rattle of my rattle I see everything

and when it flaps away
leaves one feather after it
I try to pick it up
but it’s only the eagle’s shadow
I try to pick its shadow up
and it turns into my shadow

and this makes me fly.

My teachers said
Fly on your shadow only
leave the machines alone
fly on your shadow
it will never fall.

Who were the dead I was waking
and why were they dead
and what were they doing
packing their valises
and tying their colorful bundles
on the day 13-Death
the only day in the year they could go

where do they go
I don’t have to know
I have to wake them
I have to let them go,
they’re waiting for me
to rattle my rattle,

go, I murmur in my ordinary
language, go home
lovely spooks,
find your way home,
ride the ringing of my rattle all the way

a sound carries

the dead ride our music
the dead ride sounds
the way I ride shadows

nothing else counts
but making sounds
and finding the way home.

home is always somewhere else

that’s why all the music we need
that’s why I rattle my rattle

when I was little boy
the radio used to say every week
only the shadow knows

only a shadow is always at home

the sun thinking its way through the clouds
makes it happen
the firelight makes it happen

we invented fire
so we could have shadows at night

the sun is a rattle that sings shadows
I belong to everything when I make noise.

Robert Kelly

Posted over on Poems and Poetics

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