Weather Eye Open: Poems

Weather Eye Open: Poems

Weather Eye Open: Poems

Weather Eye Open: Poems

Synopsis

The windmill's labor is contingent upon the weather, upon what air masses, at any given time, overlie its landscape. Anticipatory in mood, Weather Eye Open adopts the emblem of the windmill, seeking what Merleau-Ponty calls the "inspiration and expiration of Being." The windmill serves as analogue to the perceiving subject, to the poet, whose consciousness, though rooted and partial, is yet always receptive to being energized, turned. Like open sails, the perceiver ushers the weather indoors, converting one motion, the wind, to another, the grinding burrstones. The poems in this collection pursue a similar transmutation through language, a staying open to its various weather (and whether) systems. For Sarah Gridley, language strikes at the "X" of experience: part presence and part absence, part spirit and part matter, part home and part homesickness, part harnessed and part wild. In the face of such weather, the stance of the poet is both rapacious and passive, searching and struck still.

Excerpt

I speak in years and coins. I speak my own name
across all contexts: deuce, deuce, deuce. If you were listening
needles kept tacit guard at the forest
beginning where snow fell in two directions,
once, by volume, once, by discernment. the first was mute,
and loved the world, the other was lost,
and loved the world. Intermission fell between them,
space for the rising, space for the stretching,
space for the yawning. a cello
curved beneath the bark, varnishing a sermon.
When the cloudwork went down and was melted
on the tongue, it was known that the work
had neither feather, nor pinion. Exposure took
quick root: the wingful idea of snow
lay down in gray waves. Breath
consented, tacked in the up & cross-drafts of winter.
Better than feckless, it could stick on a tightrope.
And did it. and did it. and did it. a weather ever
recruiting new camps: Loves me, Loves me not, Loves me,
Loves me not. So could indifference grow fond.
And sweet were the uses.

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