Fall Higher (Young)

It was sometimes hard to hear the music of these poems. Everything seemed a bit off-beat (and I mean that in both senses of the word). I wonder what these poems are like when Young reads them.

Sometimes, it seemed that the truth might lie in between in the lines, in what Young chose to leave out. My favorite whole poem? “Non-Apologia.”

Some other snippets —

From “Infinitive Ode” –

A sword pierces a cloud / like a smile blown from a face.

A longer excerpt, from “Undertow” –

And the sea heaves and cleaves and seethes,

shoots snot out, goes to be only yo wake

shouting in the mansion of the night, pacing,

pacing, making tea than spilling it,

sudden out-loud laughter snort, Oh what the

hell, I probably drove myself crazy

thinks the sea, kissing all those strangers,

forgiving them no matter what, liars

in confession, vomiters of plastics

and fossil fuels but what a stricken

elixir I’ve become even to my becalmed depths,

while through its head swim a million

fishes seemingly made of light

eating each other.

From “After My Own Heart” –

even shadows / sometimes sit with their heads in their hands.

From “Man Overboard” –

I thank that chevron on the wing

for fostering an aesthetic sense that beauty

wasn’t extraneous but a part of flying.

And memorably, from “Vacationland” –

Out there / somewhere is the end of everything

but only the mountains are comfortable

with the idea. The rest of us paddle,

paddle between what we can’t get

away from and where we don’t want to go.

That is both beautifully said (note the line breaks) and absolutely true.


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