Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: Elegy for Idle Curiosity, by Lucia Perillo

Out of this whirl: The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and companion galaELEGY FOR IDLE CURIOSITY

by Lucia Perillo

 

 
I used to ask aloud such things as: why is the moon round,

buffed only by the chamois cloth of space?

But now I hold my tongue, or else people start to tap

apparatus they’ve strapped to their hips

as if they were knights.  They are knights,

assailed by the uncertain.  When it stands to reason

that we must be somewhere on the map: the self

tends to be the only one not knowing where it is.

 

No more paddling the murk of pointless speculation,

wondering if the force that stirs the whirlpool

also winds the spider’s web.  A person can’t just wobble

with her mouth open–it arouses

the surveillance.  Instead we’re supposed to be

like traffic lights, vigilant in every season.

No more standing like a chanterelle, spewing out ten thousand spores,

penetrating the substrate, laying a fiber everywhere.

 

From Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones, Copper Canyon Press, 2016.

 

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Author:

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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