Poetry: Michael Blumenthal

For my Sam

A Mar­riage
You are hold­ing up a ceil­ing
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, ter­ri­bly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceil­ing
will soon col­lapse.

But then,
unex­pect­ed­ly,
some­thing won­der­ful hap­pens:
Some­one,
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arm up
to the ceil­ing beside you.

So you final­ly get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flow­ing back
to your fin­gers and arms.
And when your part­ner’s arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.

And it can go on like this
for many years
with­out the house falling.

From Against Romance: Poems by Michael Blu­men­thal, Pen­guin Books, 1988

Tags: , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Poetry: Michael Blumenthal”

  1. lceel Says:
    January 30th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Yup. That’s exact­ly what it’s like. Cool. I’ve nev­er read Blu­men­thal, but I just may have to.

  2. Hope Says:
    January 31st, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    I read Against Romance a while back, at my room­mate’s sug­ges­tion. It’s good stuff, and I real­ly like that one in par­tic­u­lar.

  3. Sam Chupp Says:
    February 1st, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    I love that, hon­ey, thank you.

  4. cyn Says:
    February 1st, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Hope, have you read Days We Would Rather Know? Let me know if you want me to send it to you 🙂 I think I found Blu­men­thal and Leslea New­man around the same time, thanks to a book­store (Oxford) that I still miss ter­ri­bly even though it’s been years and years since it closed. I doubt that there’s a sin­gle bib­lio­phile in the area who does­n’t still mourn that one.

  5. Hope Says:
    February 2nd, 2008 at 8:25 am

    No, I haven’t read it. I would love to bor­row it, though. Your tim­ing is excel­lent, of course 🙂 I just a few min­utes ago fin­ished read­ing Lover’s Cre­do by Corliss Lam­ont. The entire book is online, and well worth read­ing.

    I don’t think I’ve read any Leslea New­man yet — I’ll have to keep an eye out for her work.

    A good book­store is a beau­ti­ful thing, and the lack of one is def­i­nite­ly worth mourn­ing!