Monday, January 26, 2009

POETRY FEATURE 14: James Belflower



from FRIEND OF MIES VAN DER ROHE








In Canaan night, tent lanterns along both clines
women and children on one, the shuddering river between and on an other
my brother’s hand turns our gift
on another side—








That night Jacob waited alone. “Let me go,
day is breaking,” he said. “Jacob,” said he.
“Not anymore, Jacob heel-clutcher, will be
said in your name; instead, Israel, God-
clutcher, because you have held on among
gods unnamed as well as men, and you have
overcome.” Instead, he blessed him there.
He rose in the night and led his children to
the river Jaboc.

He answered. “Why is it just this, my name
you must ask?” Now he asked him, “What is
your name?” Jacob’s thigh was limp as he
struggled. It was clear he could not
overcome Jacob so he broke his thigh at his
hip. Now Jacob looked out afar and there he
was.

and was addressed
by the Other’s
blood

as if
it were she
(kinah)








another side of Jacob’s gift:

CHORUS:
“If we were asked to explain the presence of Mahler’s scherzo in
Sinfonia, the image that would naturally spring to mind would be that of
a river running through a constantly-changing landscape, disappearing from
time to time underground, only to emerge later totally transformed…

…thus this fifth part may be considered to be the veritable analysis of
Sinfonia, but carried out through the language and medium of the
composition itself…”

…he himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he
approached his brother…







*

And Also a Fountain,
James Belflower's collaborative chapbook with Anne Heide and J. Michael Martinez, is forthcoming from NeOPepper Press in 2009. He was a finalist for the 2008 Sawtooth Prize, Slope Editions Book Prize and the National Poetry Series, and won the 2007 Juked Magazine poetry prize. His poems, reviews, and essays appear or are forthcoming in: Jacket, EOAGH, Denver Quarterly, Octopus, LIT, First Intensity, 580 Split, Abovo, Konundrum Engine and Cricket Online Review, among others. He runs PotLatchpoetry.org, a website dedicated to the gifting and exchange of poetry resources.



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