Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ghazal 5/23

the electrical chirp of cicadas at 3:00 a m a warm
sky swarming with sparks of stars

a time prior to sleep’s invention in the hollows of an
archtop guitar trembling an A six chord thru the f-holes

a time prior to lilacs & the columbine petals’
violet gentle stare the white eye streaked purple

a glossolalia of crickets amongst holly
leaves in a Virginia backyard dusk August 1984

the cigarette smoke growing moths’ wings the
white web lawn chairs the green air asking for grief

the locus of sleep’s invention amidst a
flurry of spectral butterflies grazing the columbines’

eyes—I’m mostly awake—sparks of stars
scintillate thru crepe myrtles prior to meaning’s invention a

blue & green & gray chord plucked on an archtop
guitar in the purple void—a columbine’s eye

lidded in electric night—always sparks of stars al-
ways a time before time was a time after time

Jack Hayes
© 2010


  1. Good one!

    "I’m mostly awake—" written, perhaps in the state you've just alluded to over at my place?

    "prior to meaning’s invention" - reminded me I once (30 years ago) passed out in a massive university library. It was a quiet time of day. I was completely alone in the place. I came round with an eye-full of polished floor. In the distance, my dropped books were scattered. I had no words for any of the things I could see, for what seemed like an age. Uncanny, seeing the world without language.

  2. Hi Dominic:

    Thanks! A good number of the ghazals were written in that state; I was having a number of dreams in the spring of 09 that seemed to tinge my waking consciousness. What an experience in the library--how to write about a non-linguistic state!