Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Josh Hanson

Three Theses

I. Ars Cantus

There is music
and that is all

we have learned
to say of it.

And the singing
to oneself over

and again to try
to learn to speak

as the humming of Gould
through variations bends

toward language
what language but this:

the words speak only
of the music they speak

or else silence
or failing that, too


II. Dante’s Camera

was a dark room lit
by a rare light
that did not need him
or the room,
nor shadow-frame of window.

Not even the dust that rose
from his beaten sheets
tho it shone
bore anything of it.

Dante’s room
diverted loving light
through the contrivance
of its measured aperture
and filled itself as if it shone

The insubstantial light
whose shadow
disturbs the poet
at his lamp.

III. From the Anglo-Saxon

Of the forgotten beliefs, this
That there is a balance that rocks
On the pivot of a single breath
Exhalation in time and rest
The caesura between rising
And our necessary descent.

The loss of breath beyond the tragic
Stuttering verse closed at line’s end
Or midway through.
                           Parabola of sound
That swings toward silence, sings
Its rise and fall, half-thoughts
Of a common tongue made whole.

©2003 by Josh Hanson

Josh Hanson is a graduate of the University of Montana Writing Program, with MA's in fiction and literature. He currently lives in Humboldt County, California, where he is working on stories, poems, and a novel for young adults.

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