Two Poems by Daniel Brian Jones

Toneless Testamentum

Pausing before a coffin, I find myself.
In my soul or casing, nothing surprising.
Some years ago, little or no money,
I thought I would sail into the street,
Take to the ship, throw myself upon
His sword, and fill the ocean with me.
All, not in words, went out of an evening:
Moonlight, tortures, and pouring.
The days of my life declared things.
When you ought to be suffering,
The regular feasts. When against
The crowd and efforts to escape,
Skirting brambles and a rapid rush,
Stainless. To do with such sights
And disembogue is something
Amusing. Does it grow, though,
Fainter? In a different way, lack
Of unconsciousness gains on
The vessel, we hear the whistle,
Fog wills, companionship passes
And the hotel stays afloat, on
The last day we mingle wind
And water, rowing needless
With all our strength. Great
A hurry to stop, and for the food
Of each, we left perishing.
I have thought of this and rest.



Region Of Sky Unaware Of Saltrot

As at the tarnished
dusk, reminded remark
of day, of that same
going down, ingeniously
silent, a gown half
evening mauled
carelessly and strewn
on water, on rock,

And whereupon perceiving
That same depreciatory
sacrament, that third
state, delighted insignia
in a high room, the many
faces, astonished, hardly
made but by a thrilled
movement persuading
the two hosts, in duet,
though trembling, among
the scattered mirrors,
to bless what guests
remained, as they stood
near the underdeck
reaching for a single coat,

Filled the mind with shadow,
the same contained the mind,
a jaspered indistinctness then
the party seemed to be,
discolorous, for it was later
than they thought they’d stay,
the marbling forces already
well commuted, impartible,
the coat taken, cars waiting,
for each a habitude, and
the hosts still mingling
on the water.



About the Poet
Daniel Brian Jones edits FOLDER ( Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in PANK, Prelude, Vector, Spilled Milk, and elsewhere. Music: Harmonium Songs (settings of Stevens poems). He is an instructor at the Atlantic Acting School in Chelsea. Upcoming: the theatrical world premiere of John Ashbery’s “Litany,” in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Sarah Haarmann.