tom chandler says….

September 5, 2009

recently, at the library in narragansett, i read this little booklet of poems: “WORLD’S SADDEST SONG”, poems by Tom Chandler.

here are the contents, wonderful for the eyeballs and head:

LUNCH AT THE MALL

Violent nails
and a miracle of hair, she
finishes her burger
and the light grows even stronger
when she leaves.

The lipstick print on the edge of her coffee cup
is incredibly delicate,
a fossil of a tiny fern.

WORLD’S SADDEST SONG

this broken fiddle
played by a thousand ants

this cracked sax
rusting in arthritic hands

this battered squeezebox
wheezing fire

this swan-necked harp
with its music of wings

this black-skinned drum
with its thump of death

this ancient bell
filled with noisy mud

this sound the moon makes
as it watches

INTIMATE IMMENSITY

There is a sky inside,
the moon seems to pulse
where the stars quietly consume themselves,
and when I look up
at clouds drifting in ragged harmony,
swelling thick and heavy in my chest
out over an ocean made of hammered silver,
sometimes my restless heart …

SUN SFUMATO

Anyone can stare
into the sun
when it brims pale
through the gauze
of a thinly clouded morning

and for an instant
explains itself:
beautiful
small white ball
naked as any fire
before it flares out
shapeless in the clearing sky

When I wake first
I watch your sleeping face
explain itself to me.

AVERAGE MASTERPIECE

The performance artists are at it again,
shooting themselves in the head for applause,
throwing themselves before trains,
spending a part of each year in a cage
to shape their lives into a kind of masterpiece of wounds,
a frame around each cruelty,
marquees announcing rain,
and all of us posed in priestly robes
with fishnet hose and garter belts
beneath.

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