By Ellen Bass
“Poetry,” writes best-selling writer Ellen Bass, “is the best way I beware, relish, provide compliment, fight, grieve, rage, and pray. It’s the best way I embrace my love for the world.”
The Human Line, Bass’ 7th booklet of poems, startles with its targeted aspect, intimate pictures, and wild metaphors. Bass brings recognition to life’s endearing absurdities, and lots of of the poems flash with a willing humorousness. She additionally faces a number of the an important ethical dilemmas of our time—genetic engineering, environmental matters, non-stop battle, heterosexism—and grounds her imaginative and prescient within the small, deepest workings of the heart.
. . . while i am getting home,
my son has a headache, and although he’s
almost grown, asks me to sing him a song.
We lie jointly at the lumpy couch
and I warble out the outdated express tunes, evening and Day . . .
They Can’t Take That clear of Me . . . A cheap
silver chain shimmers throughout his throat
rising and falling along with his pulse. There by no means was
anything else. basically those excruciatingly
insignificant creatures we love.
Ellen Bass is co-author of the million-selling ebook Courage to Heal. She lives and teaches in Santa Cruz, California.
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Extra info for The Human Line
In the largest eyes ever, the goggling gimlets of the architeuthis as we sink in the inkwell dark of the blind ocean. As extras in the cast of Yog the Space Amoeba, mouthing Japanese we never before knew, our fear real, the danger fake, each building burnt like a cheap cigarette, down to an ashen stub, down to the loveless earth where you say to me we must run or die. indd 31 6/29/07 11:31:14 AM Seduction with Entropy If you think I’m honest, speak to me when it’s night. I’ll say anything when my face is blank like a moon.
Alone, I would have been ﬁne. Filled my days with model trains and trees whittled down, lowered my face into miniature smoke rising from the locomotive, at once acrid and sweet— inhaling it all, a heaven to hold forever. Or, a picnic, on a green hill. Autumn sun, sandwiches stacked high, and who I could love with me on a red gingham blanket, both of us fattened by time. You would think a bone stoppered my throat for how I talk, ridiculous clot of babble and gurgle, impediment as dreamed by the idiot or obvious— and then writ large, screamed out so no one with ears could ever miss me.
Let’s pretend the moon isn’t the sky’s scar tissue. Let’s pretend the artifact of our breath will remain obedient, not like a dog licking the salt from your hands, but like a robot or a butler, or in a better world than this one, a robot butler. Let’s say it was summer and the world became a lurid green and all we could do to survive was darn the socks of tyrants in a cave beside the green murmur of the sea. What would it mean turning to you in the night disguised in the milk light of the moon?