Two Poems: For a Teacher & For John Lovas, Final Boarding

For a Teacher

by Ken Weisner

 

A name lives on

in exile after a man.

 

Federico García Lorca

is a beautiful name,

 

moves through its canal

silently, intelligently,

 

letting its hands sift

the dark water.

 

*

 

When the bird leaps

from your stringless guitar,

 

you will see it later,

still singing

 

above this river that holds

a shape to it, face down,

 

not breathing, but moving

visibly through the water

 

and uttering something

like the cause

 

of a breath.

 

For John Lovas, Final Boarding

by Ken Weisner

 

What journey is this?

I don’t know, John,

but I know you

have faced the world

openly,

inelegantly,

like almost every animal

I admire most.

Sorry, I can’t think

of a sophisticated

literary reference,

only a certain

strangeness,

like a poetry walk

without you in it.

Or shall we

shut up?

Not say we love you?

Not say you are laureate

of these green hills?

Not stand here

and be late for whatever’s

on the schedule?

Yeah, why not skip

everything,

just huddle together

as the sun moves

into twilight,

talk a little among

ourselves.

That’s the ticket,

isn’t it, John;

say it: and even

after it dissolves

into song, pure sound,

into phatic

dust,

say it,

and mean it.

 

 

Ken Weisner lives in Santa Cruz and teaches writing at De Anza College in Cupertino where he kenweisnerheadshot288edits Red Wheelbarrow. For fifteen years, Ken edited Quarry West out of Porter College, UCSC. His most recent collection of poems is Anything on Earth (Hummingbird Press, 2010). His work has been featured on Sam Hamill’s Poets Against the War website, in The Music Lovers Poetry Anthology (Persea, 2007), and on The Writer’s Almanac (2010), as well as in the “Willing Suspension Armchair Theater” production of Lost and Found: The Literature of Fathers and Sons, in recent editions of the Chicago Quarterly Review, DMQ Review, Perfume River Poetry Review, Caesura, Porter Gulch Review, and Monterey Poetry Review.

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