I Could See…

By Aaron Shurin

I could see calcium going up against the wind, from my desk at my bedroom window as the typewriter clacked like bones… “Bones,” it wrote, “I sound like bones.” I got up to stretch — muscle of my solitude — the typewriter wrote, “The silent orders pull…” Was I naked in my grief? — I stroked my beard — the yellow wall stirred — “The yolk breaks,” it wrote, “He drips with sweat.” Was I clothed in grief, hook and barb; did the yellow room shrink? I cloaked myself in a blanket and circled the room — turn of the screw — threshold and exit — as the crystals form and follow the breeze… Clackety-clack wrote, “My black keys are ardor, my red are shame,” in a scroll of scarlet ink long as a leg, “Now he busts a rhyme in red…” Bones… calcium dust… shed… Are these my mortal shivers? The window shook. I could see the wind rise…


Aaron Shurin’s most recent books are King of Shadows, a collection of personal essays, and Citizen, a collection of prose poems, both from City Lights Books. He’s Professor Emeritus in the MFA Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.