Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Tyler Vaughn Hayes - One Poem

After lines from Muriel Rukeyser


‘I don’t believe 

that poetry can save

the world.’ And again you say it has 

not solved the ultimate,

most quiet mystery. I myself, 

mute, refuse to assert

that we should shirk obscurity, 

that it is without purpose. I myself,

solipsistic by nature, have been saved by its expressus. 

Empty without the empty

darkness, we see no unknown, 

and it is in this very dearth,

that we conjure the light of ourselves.


For poetry does not exist

to neatly brim, tranquilize, explain,

but to breach the lip of each cup,

to shift the seeming water into mud 

and back again.

My hope is for you, for us

(shrouded as we are in solitude)

to discover that an answer

is just a funereal veil 

conclusion uses to fool you. 


Now you look about 

and weigh the world 

as finished, but only poets 

discern what is so near 

and yet scarcely clasped: 

every pursuit is an attempt 

at renewal and a chance 

to touch a hand, to save it.

Tyler Vaughn Hayes is a poet and essayist completing his MFA at Western Kentucky University. His words have been published in The Ponder Review, Thimble Magazine, and many others.

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