Stone Soup Servings Presents: Ben Mazer

© Jennifer Davidson Marshall
© Jennifer Davidson Marshall

Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming features at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has recently partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.

This Monday, Stone Soup will be featuring Ben Mazer, Cambridge poet editor of The Battersea Review and author of four poetry collections. His latest, New Poems, was published this year by Pen & Anvil Press. It is available on Amazon, but he prefers you get it at the Groiler Poetry Book Shop. The poem that follows is from the new collection.

 

Manifesto

Spring comes, perspective splinters in the air
where no one looks, where pages closed, unread,
compete with walls and gardens, curbs, a gate,
a slant of light, massed shadows disparate,
interreflective to no one at all,
bursting the sap in the arriviste’s heart,
a brittle sheet, creased, crumpled manifesto,
and memories awaken in the dead
in glints of lean, discontinuous volubility
that dries the hot air to the crinkling sea,
rises like ghosts on spring and summer nights
to deeper chatter, magnetic below the ground,
the common dwelling of hallucinated sound
(also they may sink along a wall
until the eye sees anything at all,
and the whole spectrum through a green leaf splays
just at the window, hailing all your days).
(The very wall that stops the shadow is it.)
A retired drunkard, reprobate
who stood this way, not very long ago,
watches the youth for individual signs
of what the ages taught the world to know,
and gets him drunk on his old favorite wines.
His university, where he was interred
for the duration, mingles love and patience,
remembers drinks by bombed out railway stations,
and paints a grand incitement philosophe
and redivivus with an expert hand.
The very young play Shakespeare on the green,
in an enclosed garden, pass the hours
until the evening collects its densities,
where luminous in the dark all passions harden.
Not her, not her, were very ghosts ago
who have unspooled the hours of the day.
Stand tall and walk, incalculable in grief,
through thousands of perspectives, like Moncrieff.
The broken bottles underneath the shed
revive a distant quarrel in a broken bed.
And puffs of clouds, floating like merchant ships,
decline the will the faded photograph saps.
Crevices of shadows fall between two buildings,
dowsing in shadow their fin de siecle gildings.
Time seen from far, from many vantages,
falls silent in attics, in the unopened pages,
which climb the trees, in all the youthful stages,
with histories of molasses and of tar
unspoken in the breezes where you are.
Their repetitious circling assuages
dumb histories, the Cyclops in his lair,
and by a mere reversal of misfortunes
revive the bard’s significant distortions.
As who should suffer by a wrought iron rail
that up above two spinster’s eyes assail.

 

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