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Two Finger Poems

October 5, 2005

Each finger-bone pulled from the next
Splitting, hissing, in the loosening flame
Slowly unmaking the hands that have served so long,
Clutched so hard.

Each brittle word wrenched from the text
Crumbling, blurring, undoing each name
Slowly unwriting the poems that have masked the song,
Closed my heart.

Written by Dale Favier, of Mole.

  1. October 5, 2005 at 9:53 pm

    Tiny and powerful, this poem. The rhyme is unobtrusive enough (which is to say, the words flow well enough) that I didn’t notice it until the second reading; the opening image is jarring and beautiful. Thank you for this.

  2. October 6, 2005 at 9:50 am

    Hard, sad, smooth and burnished as a pebble in a flowing stream.
    As Rachel said, the rhymes are so unobtrusive.
    It’s only when you hold the pebble in your hand that you notice the beautiful patterns on it.

  3. October 6, 2005 at 11:22 am

    Once again, Dale, the power of your writing makes me gasp. Two finger poems, yes–but the second finger poem is about words–the fingers’ extensions. This poem bears several re-readings.

  4. October 6, 2005 at 11:41 am

    Unwriting poems.

    This is something I will have to devote my life to, now.

    [It resonates with the incorrigible poet in me.]

    My, my, how deeply this one settled in.

  5. October 6, 2005 at 12:38 pm

    Unwriting the poems … the hardest work and what is at the heart of the utterance that poetry is.

    Like Patry said … this poem bears several rereadings …as it keeps baring new layers.

  6. October 7, 2005 at 12:32 pm

    Again, I sometimes am not very good with words, particularly around poetry, lovely, beautiful poetry. If you were a book – and you should, YOU SHOULD – I’d underline and chew and inhale and digest and let the words intuitively dissolve. This is as close as I can come to explaining it.

  7. October 8, 2005 at 9:04 pm

    I just keep thinking about it, Dale – what you’ve expressed here. And the notion of a life as an unclenching, a loosening, an unraveling. It is a good way to look at it but maybe we almost have to get to midlife and start looking down the slope rather than up it to be able to think this way.

  8. October 9, 2005 at 3:16 pm

    I have no idea, Beth, whether reincarnation is anything but a Buddhist fable, but it’s been a very rich one for me. To picture this life not as something that I have to make — which is what everyone told me it was, as I was growing up — but as something that I have to unmake, has made it possible to see it very differently.

  9. ntexas99
    October 11, 2005 at 12:09 am

    there is something comforting about “unmaking” a life, as opposed to making one, although in my own personal belief, that increases the challenge, yet also offers the greatest reward

    each layer unfolded reveals a glimmer of beauty

    just as this poem does, each time the words are read

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