Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Poem: From the Dome of the Willing Firmament

I was noodling around and discovered a broken link to a poem I'd forgotten I'd written (FRiGG, 2005, link below). It was an exciting discovery, like reconnecting with an old friend or finding a sweet, cold, ripe mango I hadn't remembered was in the refrigerator. This poem took forever to write and now I see it is still too wordy in places, but so rich. I might mine it for new work. The initial impulse stems from outrage at how faculty was treated at one of those private commercial colleges advertised on the subway, this during negotiations for better pay; memories of previous jobs; experience of divinity. [Stanza vi.'s layout is spacier in the original, available at the link provided following the poem.] Thanks for reading this.

From the Dome of the Willing Firmament

I work for a college owned by a corp. repped
by NASDAQ. Look at me, Lord, I’m on
the Big Board. Compare with tedium editorial,
typographical, secretarial and it’s good.
Tried working phones ten bucks an hour,
the Woolworth Bldg., October 2001.
Pain chilled air invisible. Saw through folk
walking to skeletal fear. Grief-in-the-bone.
So now that familiar Miss, Miss? Prof?
(what’s her name?) Sarai? is snug, the work
of teaching, service—subject-verb agreement
a peace accord mellifluous as the melancholic
titterwoo of Shelley’s hailed blithe spirit.

O Visitation Friend, sweet whisperer who
blessed me, 4/99 (for example). Your presence
the anointed cubicle 5 Penn Plaza. I proofed
hard copy and CDs in Marketing, used 15 mins.
a morning to write You on post-its in a spiral book.
On stickies’ colored heat I copied meanings: “surrender”
“humility” while my life played the open-ended
help-prayer like a tape looped for companionship
on a long drive. Like a Carver character, I knew
things could get better: a premise to tickle, move.
You to descend a thousand glowing luminarias
from the dome of the willing firmament.

(This corp.’s stocks soar
on waxy wings.) Tuesday we faculty vote re:
going union. The admin.’s tried
persuasion, promises and $1 million
in spin and advisement. Ferrety guys (made
men) are on-site and menacing
faculty kneecaps.

I could enumerate other times,
like when I saw eternity in
the air space, but about that
later. About me now like wet
wool on a rank day are greed
stupidity and your sportive
free will and variance of critical
thinking capabilities. What,
My Furnacey Beloved, was
the plan? We went union
(by the way).

(It is possible.) (Things can get better.)

As for eternity
which I saw
in the airspace
outside the window: green
very small complete
like an Indian
of two people
in complex embrace.

Sarah Sarai, FRiGG Magazine 2005

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