"On the Velocity of Souls"
"Don't Let Sin Have the Richer Imagination," "National Museum of the Soul's Vanities," "Passages," "Aftermath," and "Gossip"
"Ultimate Spiritual Intelligence Test, version 5.1"
In the sun's ticking heart, you'll find only more glycerine stars
It can happen that quickly
Another universe gone and reborn
Eventually somewhere else
Morning light soothes the far halls
Where all wars ever fought
Angst grows back over the land, takes its true form
Nature and its practical hogs furrow in
The countryside listens
And the far tract humans will arrive along
Is given back its malaria and tungsten
Returned its grapes and flames
Meanwhile, summer's bestiary
Inhabits the blue-white Himalayas
Oysters are alive in California
Olives bleed through Italy
Someday you are born, and I find you
It's the same universe, with all the same beauty!
And exactly the same problems
(for more info see above)
Sometimes we tie each other up,
my love & I,
& afterward exegesize
tales of our demons.
Yeah, the slain;
but also nibbled
ropes, teeth, fur
left out in slick,
on the windowsill
at the birds.
from Whorled (2012 American Book Award):
ALL LOVE IS IMMIGRANT
There is another other
in the other of every
Sweet Men (audio)
On the other side of the world, there is a language I have never heard
It is beautiful, and in this dying tongue, there are words for Love and God
that resemble Bread and Wing
Or another forest language in which Mother and Knife
equal Drawer and Sing
And Island Wood is somewhere Desert Milk
And Berry, elsewhere is a Door
And if you added up all these dying words, and the people who speak them
All their memories, histories, and lessons
All their gods, jokes, rituals, and recipes
If you learned and stirred them, over and again, until
each utterance became a star, a new footprint, the marrow of a poem—
Broadside from Red Dragonfly Press: "This excerpt from the title poem of Ed Bok Lee's Whorled (Coffee House Press, 2011), a poem aimed at a "speaker in a future age" as elegy for the extinct and endangered languages of our contemporary earth, was printed on the occasion of the author's visit to St. Olaf College January 18, 2012."
from Real Karaoke People (2006 PEN/Open Book Award):