Thursday, September 15, 2011

Verse of the Day - Chase Twichell

I found this poem by chance but I rather like it. It makes me think of the quietly rotting interior, the lonely farmsteads we pass on a road to nowhere; it can only be America; a world unpruned and broken where love is folded away in a drawer.

These are lonely and sad images but there's something appealing about them in the same way as there's something appealing about solitude and giving up on our mainstream lives.

Inland by Chase Twichell

Above the blond prairies,

the sky is all color and water.
The future moves
from one part to another.

This is a note
in a tender sequence
that I call love,
trying to include you,
but it is not love.

It is music, or time.
To explain the pleasure I take
in loneliness, I speak of privacy,
but privacy is the house around it.
You could look inside,
as through a neighbor's window
at night, not as a spy
but curious and friendly.

You might think
it was a still life you saw.
Somewhere, the ocean
crashes back and forth
like so much broken glass,
but nothing breaks.
Against itself,
it is quite powerless.

Irises have rooted
all along the fence,
and the barbed berry-vines
gone haywire.

Unpruned and broken,
the abandoned orchard
reverts to the smaller,
harder fruits, wormy and tart.
In the stippled shade,
the fallen pears move
with the soft bodies of wasps,
and cows breathe in
the licorice silage.

It is silent
where the future is.
No longer needed there,
love is folded away in a drawer
like something newly washed.
In the window,
the color of the pears intensifies,
and the fern's sporadic dust
darkens the keys of the piano.

Clouds containing light
spill out my sadness.
They have no sadness of their own.

The timeless trash of the sea
means nothing to me—
its roaring descant,
its multiple concussions.
I love painting more than poetry.


  1. Very nice. The orchard images are especially vivid. I like this poem. "Barbed berry vines gone haywire" I like how that evokes barbed wire from the thorns of the berry vines. Such a great comparison.

  2. I remember one of our last visitors from the city coming out to the farm and being very nervous. And I asked him what was wrong and he said,"I can't hear the hum anymore."

  3. Wow,that last line... beautiful. And your introduction to it is poetry itself. :)

  4. I like that line too Daisy - I know Suzzy the solitude can be unnerving. Thanx so much Jayne.