Friday, April 4, 2014

4 of 30: "Notes on Discovery: Dismantling a Clock" by Perry Janes

I'm in love with today's poem, which twists together time, electricity and love for one powerful poem in the voice of inventor Nikola Tesla. The poem's epigraph reads: Nikola Tesla. Austrian Polytechnic School; Graz, Austria. 1875.

It was written by an exceptional young poet and filmmaker, Perry Janes, who was a University of Michigan student winning Hopwood awards right and left when this poem was published in The Collagist in 2010. Check out his award-winning film work, too. My favorite poem for this first Friday in April is "Notes on Discovery: Dismantling a Clock" by Perry Janes:
I’ve broken in
and the body knows it. 
                         I only meant to check the time 
when one clock-hand embraced the other
like boys I used to know
                        all tenderness
and I smashed and smashed
and smashed the brass 
apart.
                         It was meant to be a gift
for a girl with olive hair,
but now I’ve freed these needles I can’t
put them back. I can’t help 
but imagine how her dress falls in folds
like a curtain, releasing
the same drama I’ve rehearsed for 
                         so many times: my hands 
turning on her breasts, spinning gears
between her legs, confused at finding
something whole. Built. Not needing
to be fixed. Nights, 
I would try to explain my dreams
of electricity.
                         How I run
the charge through my flesh and bite
my teeth to close the circuit,
lungs like iron bellows
and I wish, only, that I could wake
to feel her in my bones,
that singing 
sting.
                         What is it
about the split seams of impossible
wheelwork that love me? My heart quickens 
for them. God help me 
should something more beautiful
fall into my hands,
                         these hands.
4 of 30. Happy National Poetry Month!