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False Notions, Fears, And Other Things Of Wood Analysis



Author: poem of James A. Emanuel Type: poem Views: 6

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Repeatedly, that sturdy stump in me

bears up like stone,

beneath some ritual I see:

the blinding axe

swings up,     holds,

that moment of its weightlessness

inscrutable

till I confirm the arm is mine;

I will it, grip,

feel moist the swelling handle,

the shudder rude,

the difference fallen.



Toward that chopping block

I carry in me woodthings—

infectious undergrowth

pretending upwards

through each stem and branch of me—

all so certain of themselves

they practice, like pains,

the craft of being.



They try to wrench away

before we reach that stump,

my woodthings and I,

they      weakening

in its brightness,

in my luminous saying

"I must go, must go

to the chopping block."



They know the brutal business

of my thinking;

I know they have no charity nor memory

to return the way they came—

came not from wilderness,

nor forest,

nor living trees.



Their craft and strength I test—

           and mine—

at the chopping block.






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