Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-six books including, most recently, Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018), Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse, 2018), Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019), and The Calling (Parlor, 2020). Four books are forthcoming including Behemoth (winner of New Criterion Poetry Prize, Criterion Books) and Patmos (winner of the Juniper Prize, U of MA Press). Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas.
The Lost Language 21
If I could talk to an angel I could trust,
I would say, I think you know my friend
who had no stomach for the talking cure.
If I exorcize my demons, so go my angels,
he said. Call it a mere figure of speech,
and you break the glass of figurines
songs are made of. It is a figure. There.
I confess. I grow weary of these songs
that tear the heart from its closet and wing it
out so far from earth each singer is alone.
If I could talk to my friend who had his
demons, I would. If I could raise the tremor
of our cups. (Are you free for breakfast, I
cannot sleep.) If I knew how serious it was.
The Lost Language 36
I read a man who spoke on behalf
of things that cried out to him and to his
language to preserve them. Silly things.
Each longed to be flotsam of the shore
survivors kneel to read. Call us readers
waves then, and every day we pour
over what remains of one night’s wreck.
We commit our loved ones to the deep
and endless regress of suns gone down
and never quite abandoned. Tell me.
How credible is any sentiment now,
laid in stone, without the providence
of strangers. How impossible and far
the seagull’s cry without the salt that stings.