Return to the Millennium
Return to the Millennium
On dark-mass we chart out this ride to day
The two of us forward to ward off space,
Oz, landings elsewhere, our other faces,
Through white waters we'll glide,
Enact the hour of reunion, know time
Is like water though thick as amber,
And see its infinitesimal passing
Landscape like waves of escaping heat.
Take back this lurch back to the slave drum,
Actually visible from the outside
Is supposed to be from the inside
To curve onwards without coming to end.
On time you learn to map the message
Shot through our turn of the millennium.
After last night December rained
Down from the east ash morning
Came, in the first light rising
Completely beyond my control.
You and I are just a part now
Though darkness held no distinction,
Limbs knotting in slow motion
Now separated by the land.
The rain on branches, the fire crackling,
Pit the silence in time sound the same
As planets in rotation sound the same
Depths as I spun my course to you.
Dark star, eclipsed, rung in light,
So far in mist taking my earthly rite.
If afterwards the world dreams
Remember us then as immigrants
In time, steering a wooden house
Rolling past currents on the main.
I won't forget you are under
Labor, lighting fires, undertaking
This sea-faring life with me
Your hips turn watches on the quarter-deck.
Seeing you part the bed curtains
Silhouetted above (so that I seem
To stand upon the ceiling) I wait for you
To make your descent up to me.
Even in universal darkness
Will I find you warm and parted.
On a blade that cuts pain in two
Below the crash reflection of ourselves
I'll never understand doubts from you
Claim all is compromised your look out.
For only yesterday a false step
Brought the fern under ice still green
Over snow for you I picked
And stopped by to warm a seedling pine.
It's no surprise we're reconciled
Through atmospheres we cut our course,
But did we have to look overboard
Past wreckage trace the glowing force?
This dream isn't shaken, but so too the fine
Blood between us we step in time.
Returning sundown a marching day
You find these cabin rooms are possessed
By the same charge of a place cleared
Out too fast by many underway.
This foreshadowing effect you call
The bees, flashes of them, borne to mind,
A light swarming electric sound
Like fire crackling up between the walls.
At night we stand by while all is moving
Fast with the undercurrent now against us,
And we meet at work between the tide,
Against lit windows our shadows flickering.
Outside the chimney sparks assail the breeze
Like ships burning on the open seas.
When the old site burned the frost
I saw it constellated on glass
Melt, I touched the walls felt
Hot from the fire spread within.
Imagine it after, in spring, you dream
The yellow flags crop through the dark marsh
Grasses covering the sunken corner stones
In new rent the star scattered clan.
The wind took the embers out last
Far as the boulevards through flashing lights
Laughter in grease fires drunken fights
The sparks pass out unnoticed ashes.
Restless in dreams no more return
To ruminate this house my family urn.
Though I would tender my words in soil,
All I have said will not go away.
Those that hurt you, you have here
Ring close after a wedding day.
I turned as the full summer leaves
Made a dimness in the cabin room
And saw myself loom in the mirror
Framing your wounded face was freezes.
We can't take backwards, but words will
In a company each memory
To another, together, we saw the trees
Part of winter two deer rush still.
And one was pregnant, so the other attends
In their spring through the forest they're friends.
Hazard costs less than careful plans
But no amount of swept success
Will iron the grip of uncertain-ness
The assaulted condition beforehand.
No routine or sure return can rhyme
Out the quality of a single parting
The ultimate lapse of waving
The smile’s anonymous shadow lines.
But here on a roof sky-patched
Steered in night rung with peepers
I see half sheathed these green timbers
Like we always were half protected.
By the concentrated struggle singed
We form ourselves a new innocence.
Our Lenten stuff lessens every day
But so too the inflections of the hive
Its sparks in snags enthorned, we alive
After the flood at last steered away.
We come home land ashen in pairs
Take defeat like ground steals the snow
Suit our tattered sails on and show
From whence we mean this march wears out.
My gift is long lasts the passing day
Loosens chords losing necessity
To wait to hear the mourning dove with me
The sandy boughs free time to give away.
Fallout darkness past winter crime
Across the pond sails the bell's chime!
This delivery though late is testimony
All will survive on the black shore
Lines wrought among the wreckage torn
From others lost you re-birthday's eve.
Now mornings after in the clarity
Of a cold Thanksgiving gray shimmers
Some things clear through the salt water
From the jagged bottom of the sea.
There strung through the coral treasury
See diamonds in rafters white pearls
Caches of our underwater worlds
Safes awaiting safe recovery.
That these are succeeding ruin promises
Us our catching in notes wild and plain.
For their half-moon mid-winter rest
They change pieces across the board
Paper batten pasted the world
One man goes outside and faces west.
Looking out across the frozen pond
Past fires on the other shores, England,
I landed, America, larger than before
The place stopped, where east for west.
The voices, glasses, one's side by near,
Philosophy of losing ties to changing
Events, to leave a mark, but not pieces,
Hardly audible outside I hear.
The end at last stands through the ice
Flows the final pieces in your hands.
Marcus LiBrizzi is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Maine at Machias, teaching American literature, writing, and cultural studies. His previous publications have been non-fiction, focusing on the development of political culture in Maine and the appeal of contemporary American conspiracy theories. His doctoral training at McGill University included a study of Elizabethan sonnet cycles, which then formed a backdrop influencing his own poetry, which had been primarily free verse.
In his sonnet cycle "Return to the Millennium", LiBrizzi seeks to blend the personal, the political, and the mystical to give a voice to our transition into a new epoch. To the traditional form of the sonnet he's added innovations in syntax, blurring line breaks and creating unexpected openings and pauses. The combination of traditional and innovative dimensions to his poetry encapsulates his sense of the presentin both its bondage to history and its openness to future possibility.