Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Paul Hoover

The Unquiet Eye

In the room of words, where to knock is fire,

you enter the subject weather.

Along the horizon, a whiter sky.

In states of undesire, what was thought a crime unenters from behind.

A mirror smears the wall.

Farther than a flashlight into the grooves of night,

the rare unleaning world.

As evidence and space compete for inattention,

the maid is once again on the point of unsinging.

The shouts of children in their brief unkingdoms

can be heard but not discerned.

A butcher knife "seems."

With its thick ringed handle,  it is not less than unerotic.

The century's last death is not uninvolved.

A metaphor arrives wet with tension but departs as freight--

a transparent noun in a haystack town.

The covers of the bed are all unthrown, slain for the cleaning.

Moving  through the house like a neutral perfume,

you leave your prints on every startled object.

An ordinary shape displays moral tension and then, it seems, relief.

As you wander tightly in the same worn circle,

the fourth god's name goes unremembered.

Agitating slightly in a northern direction,

a needle floats with strict attention on the surface of a pond.

Through shaken landscapes, generations pass in unswerving cars.

© 2001 Paul Hoover