Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Carl Phillips

Spoken Part, for Countertenor Voice

	1. Carolina Window

Through the glass, spillage--

no longer half-explaining
the story--becomes the story:

limb     tree    thicket
until, further, the wooded miles.

A field of view, which is to say
finite. Making what is
continuous and whole

seem discrete, divisible, as
if to the material world and our
vision of it could be assigned
the same properties, which

is impossible--a variety, at 
best, of hoping. Not hope itself.

	II. Window, Graham Chapel

Against the figured pane
the hours lean, almost--

time a ghost, granted only
part of its wish: substance, but
without visibility.--Color, or
the light, angling shine,

something gives to the face
of Christ the look of one who
understands, like never before,

damage as the song with which
the sleeve of God comes lined.

Necessity to shadow, as any
wind to the branch inside it.

There’s a flaw in the glass.                            

© 2000 Carl Phillips