Blank Sonnet

      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).