Tuesday, December 8, 2009

June 7, 2009

Simple Sentences

A sentence always has a subject and a verb:
I won
Phillippe snores.
The soup is cold.
-Rules of Thumb: A Guide for Writers, 7thedition

But what did I win?
And what is the prize?
And who, if anyone, did I best?
And are they angry? And if not,
shouldn’t they be?
And is it over, or will I
have to defend my title tomorrow?
And how will I
continue holding the
trophy with both hands
when there are so
many people here
to congratulate me?

Surely Phillippe does not snore.
He may breathe deeply or sigh
loudly, but he wears a heavy crown.
You did not tell us what
he did before he lay down
on that embroidered pillow.
You did not tell us
what page or small peasant revolt
he will conquer upon waking.
You did not tell us if it is
tonight during his, what you have
casually called , “snoring,” that his
throat will be slit and let his
royal blood flow like the Seine.

And what about the body,
slumped over the table?
What about the wooden hilt
that branches from the woman’s
spine? What about the sweat
on her brow? Is it not also cold,
the winter door left open, her
mute son still running.

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