Into a body unfamiliar. Into a poem as into a flesh stepped out of. Now I know I don’t want to know what I know but what the poem wants me to know. I’ve been long gone from the voice of making poems and long gone from the light that’s there—as in a dream we’re long gone from the day, or worse: as in a day and long gone from a dream. I want no more the fear of the unfamiliar. But the ache of my tongue languaging what I can’t say. The opening of the whole sky as if the sky is a body. There is no body. So I am gone enough already. If I have too much of a knowing, I am country and territory, when I’m only land and slipping into sea and sea to begin with. And so I will step into my voice reading poems and hope you will listen this Tuesday. These poems from Severance are the first poems I’ve not made with my hands or voice but by listening. My hands made them of course. But for once they are unruly in all the classroom of the world and not making their letters neatly how the teacher says. They are strangers even to me but I know them and love them and am nourished by their hunger. They open their moths to swallow the light. They are more toward a hum and hush where all the voice goes. Toward a more perfect silence. Here’s one. I hope you will listen.
Published by Robert Fanning, poet
Robert Fanning is the author of six books of poetry, including four full-length collections: Severance (Salmon Press, 2019), Our Sudden Museum (Salmon Press, 2017), American Prophet (Marick Press, 2009), and The Seed Thieves (Marick Press, 2006) as well as two chapbooks: Sheet Music (Three Bee Press, 2015) and Old Bright Wheel (Ledge Press Poetry Award 2003). His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, Gulf Coast, Waxwing, Thrush, The Atlanta Review, and other journals. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Sarah Lawrence College, he is a Professor of Creative Writing at Central Michigan University. View all posts by Robert Fanning, poet
4 thoughts on “I’m After a Long Silence”
I’m dying laughing. The mobile version and my iPad have ads more prominently displayed. I clicked on what I thought was the link and got a psychedelic burger advert. I thought that was a weird choice for you as a poet and vegan. 🙂
MC, that is so hilarious. So funny. Thank you for letting me know!!
Hey Roberto. Is there a word poem in the burger or is it all music and video?
Hey MC, not sure what you mean by “burger”? This is one of the poems from Severance, recited.
Love you too! –Roberto
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