Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Claudia Emerson


There were warnings: he had, at forty, never
married; he was too close to his mother,
calling her by her given name, Manuela,
ah, Manuela⎯like a lover; even her face

had bled, even the walls, giving birth to him;
she still had saved all of his baby teeth
except the one he had yet to lose, a small
eyetooth embedded, stubborn in the gum.

I would eat an artichoke down to its heart,
then feed the heart to him. It was enough
that he was not you⎯and utterly foreign,
related to no one. So it was not love.

So it ended badly, but to some relief.
I was again alone in my bed, but not
invisible as I had been to you⎯
and I had learned that when I drank sherry

I was drinking a chalk-white landscape, a distant
poor soil; that such vines have to suffer; and that
champagne can be kept effervescent by putting
a knife in the open mouth of the bottle.

Late Wife Poems by Claudia Emerson; Louisiana State University Press


August said...

Eating the artichoke down to its heart and then giving it to him --- says so much about both of them.


Glamourpuss said...

You have this uncanny ability to post poems about the very things I'm currently thinking about.


PeterAtLarge said...

So hard, relationships. Such subtle shades. A beautiful, if painful poem. Thanks.

PeterAtLarge said...

And thanks for checking in on The Buddha Diaries. My birth month, by the way, is August. August 1. Same day as my mother's. Cheers, Peter

CIELO said...

Beware of those "Spanish lovers!.... ha! I got one and I know how they are... so charming!


August said...


Strange, but once again as I was reading the poem I was distracted by thoughts of you. Makes me happy to know our wires can cross.


I very much enjoyed The Buddha Diaries. It's another blog for my daily reading.

I seem to get on well with you Leos. Must be that feisty determination.


What a pretty name! Thanks for stopping by. . . Oh, I know all about those Spanish lovers, I have a mess of cousins. Total schmoozers.


CIELO said...

Good monring August!.... I'm just waiting for the next poem!... :)

Have a great day!


Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Artie bites, Artie swallows, Artie chokes.

Todd Camplin said...

Good blogger poetry is hard to come by, I am glad I came across your site.

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Laurie Broadfriend said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS BLOG. You're favourite poets are my favourite poets. Always good to meet a fellow poetry-whore.

Anonymous said...

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John Guzlowski said...

Dear Hour, what happened? You stopped posting. I was going to link your site to my site and suddenly realized that you were no longer posting. A shame.

Please come back.

Luis XIV said...

I agree with glamourpuss. Found your blog when looking for the text of Heaney's "Night Drive," am in Spain now, and this relates to what I'm thinking about now. Uncanny is the word.