Home > Poetry > Unthings
Published: Sat Apr 15 2000
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.

Come stay with what can’t stay.
Trust only what fades away.
Skies wish they’d made us button-eyed.
In autumn only man is heavy-eyed.
Such eyes: sky-storming wings.
We first don’t know we’re things.
When we do, we’re not.
When we’re not, we wake as rings:
A circle, not a dot.
Are we a sick-gene’s blunder?
Call us the unthing wonder.

Go leave with what’s not staying.
Trust only the ebb-half of seas.
Singing is not quite fading.
Euterpē. Euphonies.
Autumn’s not quite my opponent.
We are and aren’t things.
An eon must echo a moment.
When a moment has resonant strings.
I’m going to exit sonant,
A harp-nerve strummed by a breeze.

See what's inside AGNI 51

Peter Viereck is the author of Tide and Continuities: Last and First Poems (University of Arkansas Press, 1995). His poem in this issue is from his unpublished poetry manuscript Door. A play about him, Deborah Kearney’s Viereck: A Touch of Poet, will premier May 20 at 3:30 at Mount Holyoke College’s Lab Theater. (updated 2000)

Back to top