in the final twists...

Jack Spicer

A Book of Music

Coming at an end, the lovers
Are exhausted like two swimmers. Where
Did it end? There is no telling. No love is
Like an ocean with the dizzy procession of the waves’ boundaries
From which two can emerge exhausted, nor long goodbye
Like death.
Coming at an end. Rather, I would say, like a length
Of coiled rope
Which does not disguise in the final twists of its lengths
Its endings.
But, you will say, we loved
And some parts of us loved
And the rest of us will remain
Two persons. Yes,
Poetry ends like a rope.


A strong love poem. And a piece that refuses to give up all its secrets. You will think you know, but then the lines move, quite unexpectedly, in another direction.

A Spicer poem, typically, has many doors and windows.


poet with a day job said...

I love how you can almost see what got him wanting to write this poem: "Coming at and end" and the "coil of rope" like lovers. I can almost picture these two images forming this idea in his mind, the writing of the poem itself becoming a kind of tete a tete with a lover...slowly working out the idea through the lines. Great.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

That's an interesting observation, Melissa. Spicer's approach, somehow - and maybe it is, as you point out, his working out the idea - makes the poem a living thing ... that when you come across the poem again, it will unfold in a different way - a different form, different words and lines.