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Sam Rasnake: Two Poems

Variation on Lines From Oppen | Intersect

Variation on Lines From Oppen

"true seeing is an act of love" is my own
act of starting this poem, an act of realism
to be sure, a certainty beyond any fear
that lifts its head, jaws dripping, a certainty
that has no memory past the moment —
always the here, always the other

Smoke rising from a house, one finch among
rhododendron leaves, alabaster dripping
from the roofs of caves, glass, free-blown,
to pitchers to bowls to lily pads are acts
of love that will me to see the only world —
My days are silent, stacked, cold cocked

My love is a calla lily, yellow spather, curled,
asleep, a gentle motion of the head into the pillow
Outside snow is blowing across a different world
Inside my act is listening to the wind, to your breathing
My art is a work of heat "He wants to say His life
is real" is my mantra so I whisper He wants to say


for Angelo Verga, after reading his poem in Poetry Daily
I'd not really thought about the grand possiblity
of this before — the one tiny bee, one purple crocus
in a thousand piece puzzle of a field — but Angelo,
there you are in the index, wedged between Virgil
and Caesár Vallejo, so I'm thinking how we all are,
or must be — see how I'm undecided — in the middle
of the one silent journey, and I say how unlikely
to read you here, against the Tennessee mountains'
last snow remnant through the window, having given
no real place for the park bench in Manhattan where you
probably won't be sitting in the early morning cold,
a burgundy sky just edging over the metropolis' storm-
metal & concrete — rivers of business and body politic
slowing on this Saturday — but not stopping

Poet's Biography:
  Sam Rasnake's poetry, widely published, has appeared in journals such as Literal Latte, Switched-on Gutenburg, Portland Review, Snow Monkey, One Trick Pony, nycBigCityLit, and Poem. He is the author of one chapbook, Religions of the Blood (Pudding House) and one collection, Necessary Motions (Sow's Ear Press). He edits Blue Fifth Review, an online poetry journal: (

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