Devon, PA. The Catholic magazine of arts and letters, Dappled Things, is no stranger to the writers of FPR, having published a debate on the free market between John Médaille and Robert T. Miller, last spring. The most recent issue featured a poem of mine, “Dark Places,” which is part of a sequence of poems that meditate on the proper role of speech and poetry as a commentary on our life in this world or as a means of grasping toward and meditating on the world beyond this one. I reprint it below, but would like to use the occasion to ask readers to visit the Dappled Things web site and to consider supporting its mission. We do not have left many venues for new art and literature that do not deem beauty a superstition and art an ideological weapon. It is to the editors of Dappled Things‘ credit that they launched their venture despite and against the postmodern tide.
You stare into the azure distances
That eyes cannot exceed.
A serious voice bleeds
Through the wall, but you don’t hear what it says.
At night, you fold the paper in your lap
To solve the crossword; as
Descending letters pass
Onto the page, you sense a code, perhaps
A whole vocabulary, meant for you
That you may never speak.
The bedroom windows creak
As if your mother, three years dead, brings news.
The real repels our words or swallows them.
All we can do is point
In agony, anoint
In ecstasy our stuttering intent:
The sky’s bright emptiness reduced to phrases
Beyond concise confessions,
The coins, carved bones, and blood brought from dark places.