Wednesday, August 13, 2014

David Allen Sullivan: "Permission Granted"

You do not have to choose the bruised peach
or misshapen pepper others pass over.
You don’t have to bury
your grandmother’s keys underneath
her camellia bush as the will states.

You don’t need to write a poem about
your grandfather coughing up his lung
into that plastic tube—the machine’s wheezing
almost masking the kvetching sisters
in their Brooklyn kitchen.

You can let the crows amaze your son
without your translation of their cries.
You can lie so long under this
summer shower your imprint
will be left when you rise.

You can be stupid and simple as a heifer.
Cook plum and apple turnovers in the nude.
Revel in the flight of birds without
dreaming of flight. Remember the taste of
raw dough in your mouth as you edged a pie.

Feel the skin on things vibrate. Attune
yourself. Close your eyes. Hum.
Each beat of the world’s pulse demands
only that you feel it. No thoughts.
Just the single syllable: Yes

See the homeless woman following
the tunings of a dead composer?
She closes her eyes and sways
with the subways. Follow her down,
inside, where the singing resides.

"Permission Granted" by David Allen Sullivan, from Strong-Armed Angels: Poems. © Hummingbird Press, 2008.

Art credit: Detail from untitled photograph (image 5 of 5) by AP Photo/Marco Garcia (originally color). From the caption: "a [homeless] woman is seen walking near Waikiki Beach, Friday, May 13, 2011 in Honolulu."


  1. Thanks for posting my poem!

    1. I'm sorry that I only now became aware of your comment (this project is no longer active. Happy that you're happy that I posted your poem. I hope my posting brought you some new readers. Deep peace to you.


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