this wind-torn morning we conjure up words—sort of a tautology—for silence, that may, or may not, rise as easily as bubbles from the harbor floor and that the words for all their second-handedness, be naked and plain as the gull's reedy scree. Say the tired snow on snow. Not silent enough. On the verso of winter's reticence is clattering cold, its manifesto. A hinge-winged acrobat dances past-all arabesques, cursive o's and l's-laughing at ice, open water. Say that sleep, the tired middle ground, is silence enough. No. The insomniac who dozes off in a cathedral, enjoys the dark and seeming deep stupor, but what if a wrong dream and its attendant stream of bother knocks on the narthex door? What of finished? departed? gone? Beyond the breakwater miles out, leagues down where the light has no horizon, lost souls drift through their wrecked history. Those we might have loved more, we hold in common. The heart's austere monologues rise up and out.
Michael Cole has published a co-translation of Finnish poet Pentti Saarikoski's Dances of the Obscure (Logbridge-Rhodes Pr.) and two poetry chapbooks: Manna for Winter (Owl Creek Pr.) and After Uelsmann (Bottom Dog Pr.). Recent work appears in Cloudbank, Gargoyle, Harpur Palate, Midwest Review, and Gone Lawn. After thirty years at Kent State University, he now lives with his artist wife on the shore of Lake Erie.