When I see a melon on the table glinting
in the morning light, why does my heart leap up,
go out to it as it does? Why do I want
to sketch this melon, put it down in words,
or set it down in short melodic phrases?
It can never come closer to me than it is now,
at this moment when I see it before me
on the table like some small world I dreamt
as a child in my sandbox of dreams,
and seeing it as this world, I am taken by it,
possessed by it as surely as the spring
takes the elm, thawing it until the winter
is nothing in its life, until the skin
of leaves it’s lost is nothing. I become
the melon’s then, exist only to admire
its beauty, its lime white skin and cold sweetness,
its Bethlehem and Golgotha, exist only to admire
its otherness, and see my self a part from it,
never closer to it than I am now, never freer
than now of my own place of skulls.
Photo by Sh4rp_i
John Guzlowski’s poems have a wonderful musical quality, not just in the melodic cadence of phrasing, but also in the play of ideas. He can, and often does, introduce a stunningly beautiful series of notes–an image–but quickly shows that ethereal melody in a dissonance with the realities of war and human suffering. The song resolves to a full chord, but not a chord that ends the song, but one that has the uncanny quality of resonance. The song goes on in the reader’s head long after the poem is put down.
I say all this, knowing that my text is dense, while his is open. His poetry frees the mind, the spirit.