Three Poems by Aaron Novick

Read More: A brief interview with Aaron Novick

Sonnet

Listen: you can hear
the silent thunder gathering
before the clouds unload the loud, rude ring
that stupefies the ear.

Not yet insensate, here
in the slurred rain, you feel each thing
that cannot be becoming, thickening
from nothing, drawing near.

What world is this, that streams
with solid fog? What empty glut
of all just as it seems?

And, when real thunder fills
the sky, and these things vanish—what?
It is your mind that stills.

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Ephemera

An Iridopsis drifting by
invents me, places me atop this stone
that jogs a glacial river. She alone
is real, and I her thought, the dry
remembrance of her complex eye
that now is turning—where cannot be known.
Stay. Stay. If you go, I am gone.

Or else (I close my eyes) it’s I
who make the moth
that with such trust
settles beside me. Does she, too, implore
my whimsy for a moment more?

Bubbles spin from froth to froth,
and glaciers grind mountains to dust.


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“So priketh hem Nature in hir corages

The maple just
beyond my window shakes
with wind, shakes more with spring, the lust
of birds whose chatter makes
the earth seem, momentarily, a place
more present than it really is, and wakes
in me a stirring that my face
exposes briefly, swiftly hides, to gather dust.

I look inside
to watch the dust adrift
on upslope flows, to see the dried
up, ground down stirrings lift
and fall haphazardly—oh, they purport
to patterns, but get closer and they shift
and twist away in dry retort:
The mind has mountains. So much cannot be denied.

Pain?
No: the din
of echoes flung again
and again off stone,
and I feel the mountains grinding down
beneath them, and… The maple in
the front yard beckons: drown
these drought-born doubts in April’s thudding rain.


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Aaron Novick is an assistant professor of philosophy at Purdue University. His poetry has appeared in Notre Dame Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Dunes Review, and elsewhere.

Aaron Novick was runner-up in the 2019 New Writer Awards (poetry).

Read More: A brief interview with Aaron Novick