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    Digging into the apple

    with my thumbs.

    Scrapping out the clogged nails

    and digging deeper.

    Refusing the moon color.

    Refusing the smell and memories.

    Digging in with the sweet juice

    running along my hands unpleasantly.

    Refusing the sweetness.

    Turning my hands to gouge out chunks.

    Feeling the juice skicky

    on my wrists. The skin itching.

    Getting to the wooden part.

    Getting to the seeds.

    Going on.

    Not taking anyone's word for it.

    Getting beyond the seeds.

    Jack Gilbert

    Tear it Down

    We find out the heart only by dismantling what

    the heart knows. By redefining the morning,

    we find a morning that comes just after darkness.

    We can break through marriage into marriage.

    By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond

    affection and wade mouth-deep into love.

    We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.

    But going back toward childhood will not help.

    The village is not better than Pittsburgh.

    Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.

    Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound

    of raccoon tongues licking the inside walls

    of the garbage tub is more than the stir

    of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not

    enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.

    We should insist while there is still time. We must

    eat through the wildness of her sweet body already in our bed to reach the body within that body.

    Jack Gilbert

    Going There

    Of course it was a disaster.

    That unbearable, dearest secret

    has always been a disaster.

    The danger when we try to leave.

    Going over and over afterward

    what we should have done

    instead of what we did.

    But for those short times

    we seemed to be alive. Misled,

    misused, lied to and cheated,

    certainly. Still, for that

    little while, we visited

    our possible life.

    Jack Gilbert

    Haunted Importantly

    It was in the transcept of the church, winter in

    the stones, the dim light brightening on her,

    when Linda said, Listen. Listen to this, she said.

    When he put his ear against the massive door,

    there were spires singing inside. He hunted for it

    afterward. In Madrid, he heard a bell begin somewhere

    in the night rain. Worked his way through

    the tangle of alleys, the sound deeper and more

    powerful as he got closer. Short of the plaza,

    it filled all of him and he turned back. No need,

    he thought, to see the bell. It was not the bell

    he was trying to find, but the angel lost

    in our bodies. The music that thinking is.

    He wanted to know what he heard, not to get closer.

    Jack Gilbert

    Having the Having

    I tie knots in the strings of my spirit

    to remember. They are not pictures

    of what was. Not accounts of dusk

    amid the olive trees and that odor.

    The walking back was the arriving.

    For that there are three knots

    and a space and another two

    close together. They do not imitate

    the inside of her body, nor her clean

    mouth. They cannot describe, but they

    can prevent remembering it wrong.

    The knots recall. The knots

    are blazons marking the trail

    back to what we own and imperfectly

    forget. Back to a bell ringing

    far off, and the sweet summer darkening.

    All but a little of it blurs and leaks

    away, but that little is the most of it,

    even damaged. Two more knots

    and then just straight string.

    Jack Gilbert

    I could keep going for the whole night, typing his words to try to better figure out what he says. The plan was to type one poem a night, but jack Gilbert's Collected sits on my shelf, haunting, all folded down corners and sticky notes. I couldn't type the poems about Michiko dying. That is not a knowing I hunger for. But the depth of his love and the way words embrace all he is trying to figure out, remember, or understand. Yes. This.




    1. a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat.

    "she was faint with hunger"

    synonyms: hungriness, ravenousness, emptiness; starvation, malnutrition, famine, malnourishment, undernourishment

    1. a severe lack of food. "they died from cold and hunger"

    2. a strong desire or craving; want, need; "hunger for knowledge" synonyms: desire, craving, longing, yearning, hankering, appetite, itch, yen, thirst


    1. have a strong desire, appetite, or craving for. "all actors hunger for such a role"

    synonyms:desire, crave, covet; long for, yearn for, pine for, ache for, hanker after, thirst for, lust for; want, need; informal have a yen for, itch for, be dying for

    1. archaic, feel or suffer hunger through lack of food.


    Old English hungor (noun), hyngran (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch honger and German Hunger.

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