May 1999

Fred Muratori

Fred Muratori Fred Muratori's poems have appeared in New England Review, New Directions, Poetry Northwest, ACM, Talisman, Phoebe, Denver Quarterly and Best American Poetry 1994.   His books include The Possible (State Street Press, 1988) and Despite Repeated Warnings (BASFAL Books, 1994). 
Against Rendition    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio

No matter how the pieces we can touch stand forward
of the rest, a given voice refuses praise of given
things: sweet pears moldering in the fridge untasted,
the real fawn discovered at a front lawn creche too
picturesque to photograph. While they live it's safer
to ignore them, otherwise assent to causes
uncontrollably thought out. In space more indescribable
a mind bolts loose, no slave to sun or greeny flower,
no conscience-lamed observer, no stunted child of memory.
Seismic registers recoil across the page in waves unbent
by sense or obligation to the smell of hot farina,
sound of horses stamping in a barn. Stuff aligned in words
exists to happen almost once, then again much differently,
and if it happens badly who's the worse? Yes the earth is
too much rendered in remorse. Best let it speak itself.



Ideal Mates    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio

More than once the suitor finds a faint lace of perfume
in her vacancy—warm current sudden on a brace of knees
too early in the surf: welcome, brief, but poignant
in its brevity. Two drinks in the hand are hardly
worth the presence of the one whom one was meant for,
but in love's wake they mimic consolation, at best
inspire rage, some petty self-extinguishment intensified
still further by tomorrow's guilt. Break a window, kick
the smug white picket fence, sink weeping in your clothes
for nothing, for perfected nothing unattainable in any
lifetime. Ideas of the lover stalk the bridle paths
in gauzy pairs, now merging with a lamppost, now
dazzling in a headlight beam, poised and featureless,
unfinished, but real and too late to erase, a nation
blooming headlong, uncontrollably among us and alive.      

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Fred Muratori: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue SevenThe Cortland Review