By Conrad Hilberry
After-Music is a diverse and wealthy selection of meditations on either the non-public and common. one of several fascinating areas, humans, and occasions that Hilberry brings to lifestyles in those poems are staring at manatees in a Florida canal, a reluctant priest blessing the animals in Mexico, a rushed and sullen checkout woman within the grocery store, and Day of the useless skeletons that shape a mariachi band. even supposing many of the poems are formal in sonnets, quatrains, and tetrameter lots of the poems are unfastened verse, making them available and stress-free interpreting.
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Additional info for After-music: Poems
The spider I think of as my soul climbs the cold chimney pipe, finds it tarred at the roof, spins out a line, and drops back down. That’s my spiritual adventure. You might think the boys in some back room would honor me when they deal out their pairs and flushes. I could suggest a ritual: whenever a hand goes straight, they might think of me, the unbent iron. They might take off their hats. No chance. I’m dust and ashes. Rust. If I could find my heart I’d pierce it, run it through. 37 38 Clue Toffee with tooth marks, the petal of hibiscus that never blooms this far north, a scrap of toenail, those are my cousins.
He bows, he smiles, he asks us how we are. I don’t say much, my words roll up inside, I let him smile, he claims he’s on my side. The night wind’s quick. I’d rather walk than ride. 25 26 Blessing th e A n i m a l s At five today, the priest will bless the animals, so we collect on the stone rim of the fountain, old women with canary cages, children holding cats and parrots, a bowl of fish, dogs, of course, some combed and ribboned, others big and dour as burros. One boy pulls a goat on a rope, another slides a snake around his neck.
I know I should hunt out a mate of my own kind— your shaver, maybe. I can’t do it. I’m cursed with an unnatural affection. R u n o ff Hopeless weekends dripping from the sky, notarized lies, winged seeds, the arm and eyelid of a doll—all this is me, sloshing, taking my time— bones of the banker rolled in a green wind. Pablo Neruda, my uncle, pours his sexual water in my cracked cup. Ruido rojo de huesos. Beetles roll to the inhale of my blood— whatever seeps from the lungs of leaning houses, what percolates, what shouts, what hugs the broken post of its love.