Stories Too Fiery to Sing Too Watery to Whisper $15

The pleasure of feeling the poem discovering itself is always a particular joy in reading this poet — especially so because the voyage of discovery each poem seems to make is, finally, a journey toward the light – whether inside or outside, grand and glorious or fine and concentrated and elusive and just or almost entirely out of reach. . . yet somehow still in there or out there somewhere, waiting to be found. (From The Preface, by Tom Clark)

Poem Selection from Stories Too Fiery to Sing Too Watery to Whisper

Saintly Places


We need to stand in saintly places
the way our body needs food to not topple over

We need to go there and find nearness there
even just a rude rock-strewn place where something

saintly took place or is taking place
tombs in giant sepulchers or a rude

rock-strewn place you can feel under your
feet or at the base of the heart the

non-physical saintliness of a real person in whom
God was by that person’s pleasing Him pleased

and stand there in its crystal waters rushing
past our ears and bathing our limbs the way

careful mothers of all creatures bathe their young
in the same way really we need to

find and stand in saintly places in this world
or stand with saintly ones and

stand with them for a time or for all time
and once found not ever leave their sainted precincts

in time or out of time
but stand with them

in their saintly places or those
who have gone before whose places are still

palpably alive the way even other live places
are not but these places are refuges and

refueling places not known anywhere
else on earth or with any other practitioners

and to stand in the bounty of a saintly place is
indescribable but evident if not then

then now in its great effect and the continuous affect
it has on us to

stand just once or have stood for even a small time
in space

in saintly places

8/10/2005 (from Stories Too Fiery to Sing Too Watery to Whisper)

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The Delirious Archer


This is the story of the delirious archer
who could shoot in a state no one would say
was sober yet he hit the bullseye every time

He split eyelashes saplings feathers floating in air in absolute
half yet was so deliriously ecstatic as the world
showed itself to him fully jeweled in every aspect
kaleidoscopically singing in close harmony and revealing to his
bedazzled eyes

the secret meanings of things entirely that he
couldn’t be given seemingly normal responsibilities
but was for all intents and purposes to everyone else
a complete idiot always smiling when not laughing and
always laughing when not sobbing

6/13/05 (from Stories Too Fiery to Sing Too Watery to Whisper)

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