The Books of My Numberless Dreams

Jesse Ball Poetry 1

Posted on: March 10, 2007

Remember when I posted before that I had been returning to Ball’s poetry again and again in order to conquer its mystery? I never returned after that. Today I took a fresh look so I could have something to post today and have concluded that maybe it’s not as difficult as I think it is. I kinda get it? Would Jesse Ball mind stopping by my house for coffee, cinnamon buns and conversation?

The ones I posted were taken from The Paris Review No. 174

Autoptic 4: House Uphill

I stand by the stove, boiling tea, and trees climb down
through the winter hills to bring me news

They whisper through the tiny windows kept for just this reason
in long syllables that reach to my long ears.

A woman is living in a hole, they say, a hole buried in the ground,
and birds are fools who talk of nothing,

or little, not both. The wind is vain, and further more blind,
wanting only to be thought of in kind ways. In this

it is often gratified. Yet still, the fury. And too a boy wandered upon
a deep part of the wilderness. He can’t come out.

He is unharmed but very sad, and you would, they say, you would
take pity if you saw him, such a small boy,

so sad, and hungry. He won’t last more than a day. He’ll die of
exposure, as children do in books.

He’s just that way, through the trees. That way.

I smile at such ruses; steam rises from the kettle. Not for nothing
did I go once to the forest’s heart, there to learn my ample secrets.


3 Responses to "Jesse Ball Poetry 1"

[…] review to remind me that it was written by the same Jesse Ball whose poems I found so intriguing earlier this […]

I don’t think I can get Mr. Ball to stop by your house for coffee and cinnamon buns, but here’s a recent interview with him that you might enjoy:

Sweet! Thanks so much for finding me and linking to it. By a strange coincidence I am having coffee (mixed with hot chocolate) and a cinnamon bun right now.

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