On Poetry and Morning: Twelve Observations

Bricco erbafresca Benevello


1. Dispassionate morning greets me. I breathe into rain-sounds, sleep-filled, dream-billowed. My flat roof creaks, pitter-patters.

2. It holds above me. The world that bears me confirms it’s in place.

3. But dreaming hasn’t done with me, still has things to tell, pulls me back, clutching, withholding me from day.

4. Pen and notebook wait. Thanks to these attendants, the dream, already fading, writes its dim echoes out of me, then drifts off, turns to nothing.

5. This breath is key of keys. Being both mine and not, it joins me to the world. It binds us together.

6. Preceding even firstness, originary infinitive, prior to enunciation, subjectless and objectless, anterior to precedence, priority, numeration – here again, light, hello.

7. Is breath inpouring, the fifth person singular? Is breath exhaling, the seventh person plural?

8. I taste light and breath. I wash them through lips onto tongue. Round and round I curl them. I coil them and recoil them. On the alveolar ridge I cool them. On the velar roof I warm them. Over the glottis I gurgle them.

9. Breath coursing through me becomes inner light.

10. Limbs move and stretch. This animal gets up.

11. It doesn’t matter to morning whether anybody or anything happens to be in it or not. But it’s morning’s nature to greet.

12. And this particular morning swells sonorous and deep, and very sweet and full, here-now, in Cambridge, England. How can I not reciprocate. Good morning, morning.

This essay is part of a set of four texts that are to be published, with others, in Imagems 2, by Shearsman Books (Bristol, June 2019). Imagems is an ongoing series of twelve-point statements on poetics. Some of these blur the distinctions between theory and practice, by being prose-poems in their own right. Two other texts from the series appear elsewhere in Margutte, where they also form part of The Albero Project: see Concerning “Tree”: Twelve PropositionsA Dendrology: Twelve Propositions and Poetry, Trees, and Hope: Twelve Propositions.

This essay can also be read in a pdf version here: On Poetry and Morning

Photo: Giampiero Johnny Murialdo