November 30th, 2011

book with worn pages

poem: The Hours Before

This is my first attempt at a Glosa form poem.

For Kyle, who pointed this Al Purdy poem out to me: 'Piling Blood' and
whom I quoted when he told me what type of table he had, poetically.

The Hours Before

"turned on the record player
and faintly
in the last century
heard Beethoven weeping"

- al purdy, 'Piling Blood'

In that house, there was a room
staged, presentable, a showcase
vibrant walls, dark wood furniture
large leather couch and so refined
an example of what you aspired to be
but there was more to see up the stair
the narrow hallway, we went to the right
to a place of panel walls, a small space
in this place lined with vinyl, you there
turned on the record player

Laid down side by side on a shag carpet
in the near dark, among selective wonder
of so many albums alphabetically arranged
around me, surrounding, slid gently together
asking you to pick whatever, an introduction
to something new or old, to hear differently
to feel the sound tentatively take by surprise
to feel the song slowly separate
to split into many notes brightly
and faintly

Earlier we had played trivial pursuit
at your solid oak table where you said
one "could feel the ages / the hours
that had been before it" with talk of
higher education, becoming more of what
we want to be, not workers in a factory
in attempts to declare intelligence, we
spoke of books and other means to escape
from mindless jobs, all of the drudgery
in the last century

As young factory workers we have seen how
our time is taken, felt the hours lost from
us, wasted, seen the line leading us to no
where but a pin or watch to mark days handed
over - so we read books, collected albums, turned
to music, to deafen repetitive alarm clocks beeping
to stop time going to someone else, keep ourselves
and our grasp for something worth it - to hold on,
to let go, through a filter of that worth keeping:
heard Beethoven weeping

- adp, 26/27/28 November 2011