in the yoke of my body...

Lynda Hull

At Thirty

Whole years I knew only nights: automats
& damp streets, the Lower East Side steep

with narrow rooms where sleepers turn beneath
alien skies. I ran when doorways spoke

rife with smoke & zippers. But it was only the heart’s
racketing flywheel stuttering I want, I want

until exhaustion, until I was a guest in the yoke
of my body by the last margin of land where the river

mingles with the sea & far off daylight whitens,
a rending & yielding I must kneel before, as

barges loose glittering mineral freight
& behind me fa├žades gleam with pigeons

folding iridescent wings. Their voices echo
in my voice naming what is lost, what remains.

                                – from Ghost Money


The brilliance of Lynda Hull is always clear. The voice is real. The place is real. And the connections are unmistakable.


Rachel Mallino said...

wow, I really like this poem, Sam. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I love Hull, and this poem. A nice quiet, thoughtfulness for a foggy friday morning. Thanks for posting.

Pamela said...

I love this poem. Lynda Hull is one of my touchstones.

LKD said...

Thank you, Sam, for introducing me to Hull's poetry, to this poem.

I'll be carrying this particular line around inside me for the rest of my life:

"But it was only the heart's racketing flywheel stuttering I want I want"

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for the read & comments.

Hull is one of poetry’s immeasurable losses. Her writing is intense, direct, and mostly perfect – at least for me. She was a master writer. The Only World, the work she finished just before she died, is one of the strongest collections I’ve ever read.

Anonymous said...

i've always been obsessed with lynda hull. thanks for this.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Obsession is the perfect fit with her poetry, G. Thanks for the visit.

M. C. Allan said...

Thanks for this inclusion, Sam. I actually hadn't read any of her work before and picked up the Graywolf collection yesterday on the strength of this one poem.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

That's great, MC. You will meet a strong voice.