The Works of Seth Jani

Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA, and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). His own work has appeared throughout the small press in such places as The Foundling Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review, Gingerbread House and Gravel. More about him and his work can be found at www.sethjani.com.


All Poems © Seth Jani

Music


Today, I sit in the partial darkness 

Softly stringing my instrument, 

And bowing deep before the music 

I await.


This is where it all begins;
Silence around my fingers,
The wind, all whispers, in my ears, 

The grave internal beat 

Continuously pounding.


Is this too where God began? 

Not with smoke or fire,
Not with invectives or rage, 

But with a slow hum inside 

His heart?

A rustle, like wings arising?
An outcry, like the voice of joy?


And did he form in the metaphor 

Of his mouth
That initial booming sound 

Which spread its wings

And sailed down the centuries 

Breaking here and there
Into the hands of Mozart? 

Into Dylan’s bleeding voice? 

Into the sad, side-street sax?


The same sound that continues to sail 

Right into my room
Where I sit
Piecing it together,

As though by grasping a single star 

You could possibly understand 

The mystery of light.



Paean 


Inside me dreams drip and slide like sweat.
A life flourishes and ends on cue.
Such happy animals we are laying out alone
Mid-morning in the fog.
The craven appetite paused for a brief moment
With the sun.
Let’s worship the early crickets praying in the dawn.
Let’s worship the cat’s long stretch against the earth.
I write a poem on the turned cheek of darkness.
I stroke the untroubled bodies of the grass.
The sea is far but its music finds me
For tiny intervals upon the wind.
The universe is large but I reel in my modest
House of bones, in love with the whole damn tapestry
Of gases, and lights, and stars.



Polarities


Dense, I desire lightness,

Weightless, the weight of the world,

Bent by my longing for wings,

I forget my ability to walk.


Seeing the sadness of a river,

I want the sadness of the sea,

Feeling the earth move beneath me,

I want the stillness of the stars.


In the light of morning, I dream of darkness,

In the dearth of winter, I speak of spring,

Immutable as a shadow on the ocean,

I choose silence, when I should sing.