Sonata

By VIRGINIA KONCHAN

 

This is a torn map of the forsaken world.
There are lines even wolves cannot cross.
Every voice an epitaph, then a little tune
from the neighbor’s garden apartment
suggesting a rondo, or circle of fifths.
Plato said the soul is a perfect circle.
Perfection: from the Latin perfectus,
meaning a hollow object, complete.
When a child, I spake as a child.
Then I clung to childish things.
String theory, interconnection,
held fast by grace and gravity:
that, too, has occurred to me.
The trick is to stay embodied:
seeking guidance, blessings,
or propitiation from the gods.
I spread the atlas on the floor,
confuse it again with territory.
There’s no allegorical signifier
for which God stands, except
the market’s invisible hand.
I don’t feel crazy today, but
the light coming in through
the windows accentuates
the dirt-caked surfaces,
the intervening themes.
When Schubert passed
of typhoid fever at 31,
he left us a vast oeuvre,
an unfinished symphony.

 

Virginia Konchan is the author of four poetry collections and a collection of short stories, and co-editor of the craft anthology Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Atlantic, American Poetry Review, and The Believer.

[Purchase Issue 26 here]

Sonata

Related Posts

Image of a red sunset

Around Sunset

JAMES RICHARDSON
The days seem kindlier near sunset, easier / when they are softly falling away / with that feeling of sad happiness / that we call moved, moved that we are moved / and maybe imagining in the dimming / all over town.

A bar lightbulb shining in the dark.

Black-Out Baby

JULIET S. K. KONO 
Somewea in Colorado. / One nite, one woman wen go into layba / wen was real hot unda the black-out lite. / Into this dark-kine time, one baby wuz born. / Da baby was me. One black-out baby— / nosing aroun in the dark / wid heavy kine eyes, / and a “yellow-belly."

Matthew Lippman

Was to Get It

MATTHEW LIPPMAN
I tried to get in touch with my inner knowledge. / Turns out I have no inner knowledge. / I used to think I did. / Could sit on a rock contemplating the frog, the river, the rotisserie chicken / and know that everything is connected to everything else.