Another vessel, as seemed good
The pounding in your studio
is house-shakingly violent.
Dishes rattle and tumblers
quake in their cupboards.
You are angry and punishing
the clay tonight.
The chthonic aroma of powdered
earth and water tickles
my nostrils as I descend
the stairs to watch you work.
It’s astonishing how deliberate you are
as you remove air from the clay,
your fists swinging the way
a mason’s sledge strikes the chisel,
how you and the art are at once
elemental and humorous,
how blood and melancholia,
earth and water are transformed
in the alchemy of kiln and glaze,
how proportion means more
than the ratio of height to width,
how perfect comes from imperfect,
and how a cracked pot may
make the ideal vessel.
Editor’s Note: The open ended title leads into this poem, as if into the middle of a life, and indeed, the reader falls into the midst of some unexplained anger. However, the narrator’s focus narrows just at the end, and instead of insisting upon a single moment of ire, the poem closes with the idea of creation rising from something broken.