Miscellaneous Poems

by Jacques Stern

Jacques Stern, Motif I and Motif II

Mofit Selection 1

The Great Northern Bison
the Mammoth
the Polar Sabre-Toothed Tiger…
all feeling their supreme reincarnation
in the land of the senseless
vowing vengeance on the tellers of tales
and on the awed children that moisten
the side of their gums with transparent crystals
feeling for the first time the liquid blue of chills.

Mofit Selection 2

Everywhere pipes freeze
bridges & dams succumb to the weight of ice
Ships are locked tight in harbors
others vainly try to reach a practical port
Icebergs have been sighted perilously south…
wild winds
ravage in the very center of Europe
Impassable layers of thick powder
thin wisp of air
uncontrollable sweeping past silk-clad ankles
passing from bluish goose-pimples
to bluish goose-pimples

“Motif Selection 1” and “Motif Selection 2” were published in Corso, Gregory, and Hollerer, Walter, editors, Junge Amerikanische Lyrik, Munich: Carl Hanser, 1961


I sometimes stutter to keep time
With the inferno’s unnoticed beat,
In the still of the half-conscious mood.

I sometimes repeat the similar sounds
Ushered by the tempting silence of a winter’s layer
Covering the bristly mats forgotten in a storm.

I sometimes mumble the polytones
Of an empty craving within the frame specter
Holding court with the gallant rhymes.

I sometimes wonder if the whirrs and tears
Shall rip the surface of my dreams
And force through a grace all their own.

I sometimes wait for lapses of my speech
As signs of regained creation,
Before the shadows melt into line of view.

“Disillusion” was published in Rosita Dewez, Poème de Jacques Stern, Galerie Charley Chevalier, Paris, 1982.

Published by RealityStudio on 4 April 2011.

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