Becca Klaver


A film by Noah Baumbach
and afterwards you asked me,
Are you the squid or the whale?

Usually I can answer questions
like these, usually Iím asking them,
but I couldnít help mistaking
the way the giant squid cleaved
to the sperm whale for longing.
I suppose Iíve given my answer.
Even so, I agree with Walt --
itís hard to stare plainly at
an event so massive, whether itís
preying or devotion. High noon,
low sun, December 6. Iím tired
of not looking at things straight on.
I know we have this in common.
At least weíre not distracted
by the wrong thing. What do they
call that. Tunnel vision. Right.
At each stop, a tape-recorded organ,
its wail wide open, then shut.
Slee-eep in heav-en-ly peeeace.

Yes. I imagined it would be like this.
Is that major or minor? The key,
I mean. Next stop, Division --
no more tunnel vision, the dividing line,
etcetera. Iím sure the city planners
are big believers like me.
Iíd like to go to their parties,
write the initials of dead presidents
on their medicine cabinets,
leave blueprints on cocktail napkins,
wink amiably across the room.
Thundering out of the tunnel,
I hold my breath, sure Iíll be
on the tracks when the voltage
doesnít hold. Every city its own
dream with its own wish for waking.
Is that so ridiculous.
And if itís all a dream, then whereís
my wet face, my sour breath --
where are my two good eyes.

Becca Klaver is co-editor of Columbia Poetry Review, a founding editor of Switchback Books, and a summer 2006 intern for

Current | Archives    Submit | Masthead    Links | Donate   Contact | Sundress