Poem Against the Poets Against The War Against Iraq—Grant Cogswell

The rain falls in the morning
while you are still asleep.
Later you go out, the
earth is wet, the grass shining
far out beyond the city squares,
across the circumambulatory highways.
The rain is a blessing or a curse
and for the rest of the day we
don’t know which, for whom.
Our unknowing is enormous.
In another style, I might say it is great.
It is the greatest thing.

Our love is assembled out of it,
our bodies, so poorly knowing even their
own selves. Our tongues click on,
seek a foreign face, less understanding,
other tongues, blind worms in the separate
darknesses from which we speak.

The apple was the first thing Adam
had to eat all day.
There is a sacred song beyond
all accounting. Doubt surrounds
the essential, unverifiable. Fact
is dull and stupid as a politician.
Hate is caught in the everyday,
its translations are easy:
the mine, the knife, the pathogen:

no more than the Sumerian
is spoken by a living tongue
can this love work its wonder
on the world.

Only the ululation is left,
aila, aila
the old nightmare repeats itself
and the dead are expressed in mathematics.


Grant Cogswell was born in Los Angeles and is author of The Dream of the Cold War: Poems 1998-2008, published by Publication Studio in 2012; screenwriter of Cthulhu (2008) and has published long pieces in The Stranger frequently since 1999. The Stephen Gyllenhaal comedy Grassroots documents his decade in Seattle transportation politics and planning. He is founder and proprietor of Under the Volcano Books in Mexico City and is at work on a volume of three novellas, and a memoir. Coming very soon—Grant Cogswell in conversation with Dylan Brennan. 

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