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Victory Analysis

Author: poem of Adrienne Rich Type: poem Views: 12

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Something spreading underground won't speak to us

under skin won't declare itself

not all life-forms want dialogue with the

machine-gods in their drama    hogging down

the deep bush    clear-cutting refugees

from ancient or transient villages into

our opportunistic fervor    to search

                          crazily for a host    a lifeboat

Suddenly instead of art we're eyeing

organisms traced and stained on cathedral transparencies

cruel blues    embroidered purples    succinct yellows

a beautiful tumor

I guess you're not alone    I fear you're alone

There's, of course, poetry:

awful bridge rising over naked air:    I first

took it as just a continuation of the road:

"a masterpiece of engineering

praised, etc."    then on the radio:

"incline too steep for ease of, etc."

Drove it nonetheless because I had to

this being how—    So this is how

I find you:    alive and more

As if (how many conditionals must we suffer?)

I'm driving to your side

—an intimate collusion—

packed in the trunk my bag of foils for fencing with pain

glasses of varying spectrum for sun or fog or sun-struck

                               rain or bitterest night my sack of hidden

poetries, old glue shredding from their spines

my time exposure of the Leonids

                                                    over Joshua Tree

As if we're going to win this    O because

If you have a sister I am not she

nor your mother nor you my daughter

nor are we lovers or any kind of couple

        except in the intensive care

                                  of poetry and

death's master plan    architecture-in-progress

draft elevations of a black-and-white mosaic dome

the master left on your doorstep

with a white card in black calligraphy:

             Make what you will of this

         As if leaving purple roses

If (how many conditionals must we suffer?)

I tell you a letter from the master

is lying on my own doorstep

glued there with leaves and rain

and I haven't bent to it yet

                            if I tell you I surmise

    he writes differently to me:

        Do as you will, you have had your life

             many have not

signing it in his olden script:

        Meister aus Deutschland

In coldest Europe    end of that war

frozen domes    iron railings frozen    stoves lit in the


memory banks of cold

the Nike of Samothrace

on a staircase    wings in blazing

backdraft    said to me

: : to everyone she met

        Displaced, amputated    never discount me


        indented in disaster    striding

            at the head of stairs

                for Tory Dent


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