Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It Has Been 3 Days Since I've Seen the Sun

Poem of the Day:
"Scale" by John W. Evans
The Missouri Review, Summer 2010

Evans' poem is accusatory in silence, a mourning without the wailing. He writes of his lovers' (quite possibly also his wife, it is unclear) death: "I measured exact distances wherever I went:/days since your death, weeks until your birthday,/how many steps it took to cross the interstate park/where every three weeks the billboard changed/until Oscar season" (lines 2-6). His tendency to measure things belies this grief; he is trying to rationalize every thought, math should help him make sense of his grievous world.

What becomes clear throughout the poem is that the death of Evans' wife is not without resentment towards another. Her brother is addressed with a tone of watchfulness, as if he were directly responsible for her death. He comes to stay with Evans' speaker ("The night your brother stopped talking to his wife"), injuring himself while in their home ("The week he finally/blew out his back your brother slept on the sofa"). He takes sleeping pills to assuage the pain, and this fact, though nearly mundane in its occurrence, haunts Evans. In the final lines of "Scale" he writes, "Through the window his truck engine turned over four times/before it began its morning loop around the city" (lines 23-24). We are left with the sound of his late wife's brother's car starting, taking its "morning" (perhaps also 'mourning'?) drive through the urban streets. It is clear that this reverberating sound, made more so by the fact that it concludes the poem, plagues Evans' speaker.

Today marks my third day without seeing the sun. Boston has been awash -- literally -- with rain. This, coupled with the fact that I'm currently reading Bret Ellis' American Psycho, has put me on edge, startled by each "truck engine [turning] over," filled nearly with a fright, an edge, that has nowhere to be pinned. I need some light in my days, less shadow.

Bring some light to Boston!

A Poem A Day Audrey


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home