a sonnet by Bill Knott (for the fallen)

For the fallen of late . . .

Leslie Scalapino
Louise Bourgeois
Shusaku Arakawa
Andrei Voznesensky
and now David Markson

. . . a sonnet by Bill Knott that I happened upon this morning:

JANUS IN THE WIND

Who drains his breath from the sky,
who empties his grasp into the ground,
who moves on trespass, lingers on word,
pasturing his impostures, his games—
each one lasting as long as the steam
that emanates at first from the dirt
wrenched up harshly from its warm
depths when graves are readied during
winter in the cemetery, that field which
has to be ploughed and burrowed up
always, even in winter, how unfair,
how unjust when all the other fields
get to rest beneath their hypnotic snows,
get to forget (how briefly!) Spring.

from Collected Sonnets 1970-2010

Camille Martin
Sonnets
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