Friday, July 16, 2010


It's just that: the danger
                                    of allowing an angel to drive.
Your palms cupped over and found
                                    the holy bowl empty, the rings
of left behind dust that settled
                                    on the edge of its tense surface,
concentric. Concentrate, this
                                    is the prayer for when the choir's
crescendo won't break: let my scabs
                                    peel off in one brittle sheet
and throb with what I know but
                                    can't taste to say. And
                                    Let my feet dangle over
the knit rope edge of the hammock;
                                    the doves will have their day,
and I, the same from the ground
                                    up, when the saints have long since
stopped speaking.

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brenda w said...

Nathan, I'm lost to the meaning, but also lost in the words. This is beautiful and bears repeated reads well. concentric. Concentrate wow! From start to finish this moves me. Bravo! ~Brenda

Nathan Landau said...

Truth be told, when I started writing it the meaning was lost on me as well. It took some deciphering to see what the poem was trying to say. :)

Cynthia Short said...

I have no idea as to a message, but the words themselves had me lost within their foggy depths...quite good!

flaubert said...

Nathan I have no idea what the message is either but it is a lovely read!
Thanks for an interesting prompt!

twitches said...

I thought the meaning was in the first line.

twitches said...

By the way - this prompt is hella fun to respond to & read from others!! Thanks for it!

Anonymous said...

I'm stuck, but it doesn't matter. There are buzzing sounds of thought in my head, but as soon as they land, they leap again. I simply love the sound and feel of this.

And thank you so much for the prompt. It's beyond great.


Derrick said...

This is certainly enigmatic but the images are visible. Strange that an angel driving would be dangerous. Your prompt has definitely set us all thinking!

Tumblewords: said...

Mysterious and a lovely read - I had such a hard time with your prompt that I just posted a poem, but I've really enjoyed reading others' reponses.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm back because throughout the day, this piece has come back again and again to haunt my thoughts. I'm going out on a limb here, but I've got two conflicting ideas. One is of post coital euphoria that fades into sleep and maybe even dreams. And the other is that of a spiritual experience and the joy that gradually evaporates as one finds that although it might have been felt deeply, even lingered a few weeks, even months, one does come back to earth to find that perhaps one is not all that different.

I know there are those who can and do see the similarity between the two, while others would consider it the bases of blasphemies to place them in the same sentence together. It's okay, I've been out on a limb before. So, just tell me how far off the track I am, please.


Stan Ski said...

I read it a few times, and the images suggest risk, climax and anti-climax...?

Nathan Landau said...


the spiritual experience you describe is closest to the truth of the matter. "Postictal" is the state of recovery after a seizure, which occasionally can result in psychoses, hallucinations, and/or religious or spiritual epiphanies caused by activity in the temporal lobe of the brain.

It's a stretch, I know, but the idea of the passing epileptic epiphany seemed to fit the acceptance and passing of a divine influence.

Anonymous said...

Ooer! I'm really being made to dig deep by your prompt, as well as by your poem. Thank you for the stimulous.

Anonymous said...

Postictal - the period shortly after a seizure, an altered state of consciousness.

This beautiful poem of silent angels and empty holy bowls and knit edges of a hammock took me into an altered state, almost dream-like, incantatory poetry.

With the mind in crisis, a seizure, there is always danger, the hammock which swings very like a coiled labyrinth, and death beckons from "the same ground /up."

This poem in its two sections which can be read alone or across each other becomes a series of visions while the poet is in slow motion as he experiences a seizure, an ictal.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I rarely read other comments before posting a comment... I see you already spoke of post state of ictal. :)