Another chance to sample book of poetry

I’ve been occasionally posting one of the poems from my book, Music from Words. My hope is that some dear readers will buy one or more copies of the book.

The best place to buy Music from Words is either from the publisher, Bellday Books or from Amazon or another online book store. You can also order it at virtually all brick-and-mortar book stores.

Today’s work is an antiwar poem, as Galway Kinnell noted after reading it a few years back. The poem is called “Maya,” which is a woman’s name and a Hindu concept. For Hindis, Maya is the illusion that the physical world is real.  In the poem, the physical world is an adulterous affair that plays out in a motel room between the narrator and a woman whose husband has been severely injured in war. The narrator wonders in despair whether his lover is actually thinking of him or her husband while they make love.

 

MAYA

Afterwards my gloom observes you

gather floor-strewn tumulus of clothes.

The bathroom light reveals a passing wraith,

spectral furnishings and photographs that knit

at once to shaft of light, compress to darkness.

Muffled water arrows pound an unseen slurry.

What lie this time—long lines, wrong turn?

Will he smell me on your body?

Will he lacerate your qualms with blissful chatter

when you push his wheelchair, spoon him soup,

climb inside the chores of cleaning up a war?

I am sieve you comb through sand in search

of tender, vital jinnis. And at that fragile burst,

in that isogloss between conceived and real,

mist of golden pooling in your lap,

swan-dive open wing enflaming overhead,

were you with me or with him

with someone else or by yourself?

The water stops, the door unlocks unsettled light

like a man who’s run away from thoughts.

–   Marc Jampole

 

Originally published in Music from Words (Bellday Books, 2007)

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