The air smells of rhubarb, occasional
Roses, or first birth of blossoms, a fresh,
Undulant hurt, so body snaps and curls
Like flower. I step through snow as thin as script
Watch white stars spin dizzy as drunks, and yearn
To sleep beneath a patchwork quilt of rum.
I want the slow, sure collapse of language
Washed out by alcohol. Lovely Shelley,
I have no use for measured, cadenced verse
If you won’t read. Icarus-Iike, I’ll fall
Against this page of snow, tumble blackly
Across vision to drown in the white sea
That closes every poem — the white reverse
That cancels the blackness of each image.
George Elliott Clarke, “Blank Sonnet” from Whylah Falls, 2nd ed. Copyright © 2000 by George Elliott Clarke. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Source: Blues and Bliss: The Poetry of George Elliott Clarke (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008).