Dear Team:


A post from a student in playwriting class… we’re talking a lot about the space of testimony – this is cogent, I think… The poem ends exactly as printed here..


Robert Snyderman

“The Voice is the originary ethical dimension…”

–       Agamben from “The Eighth Day” in Language and Death


It occurred in these past few days, that a poem as being of/with what I think Agamben is naming the Voice, is within a parenthesis like this: ) (

and what makes the poem itself is the force of spirit that
moves in two different directions beyond itself, towards
the writer having written it (specifically the time the event of the writing) and the reader the reader being human.

Reading poems of Besmilr Brigham (Arkansas, 1913-2000)
made me learn that.

The Run Through Rock, Why It Quivers

composite that makes a fiercer
to live all one breath before air,
shaped to cry out
over wet leaves, for piercing stalk:
washed in
downpours of growing water
fragile as fire

rooted in places where birds
fly in through dark
flaying black wings above all sound their
individual chatter:
a changed moon, perpetual summer

who finds a grackle fallen—?
or leaf, in pushing rush
pouring down from a brevity of field
out from wind;
a rampage of piercing reds
made dark with undertones

the hardening brain
(still wild range)
running loose in separate known
regulation, difference tight as
the sun’s course
longer more certain;
the mind forgets

under that repetitious tree that throws up
limbs of flowing stalks, the fragile
that the body is like a bird, dying
a stone
that falls
lying from light, where
light draws up
no color, no fire fiercer than

the brain (a warmth in snow

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