Veronica Golos










“What is required of us is that we love the difficult and learn to deal with it.” – Rilke



Here is a branch I cannot break

nor reach the simple lilac

at its end. All day I attend

to thinking, broker with

the gods for feeling.


For what do I live? Each

word  is a heartbeat,

relentless. Silence too

is a pulse, a rebuke, a more ancient

limb. What is it

I cannot answer?  Will not ask?


The past does not wither, it

is eternally young, a wild

stag in the woods, waiting.



“The ox is on my tongue.”

— Aeschylus, Agamemnon







Telling twice the truth

or revealing the lie


in either case, I live,

or die.


I am pulled awry—

my gown blood splattered –


Oh, lift me away from Troy

all  their voices shatter.


What does it cost to say the future

that I dare


not refuse? The high headaches,

the air


itself burning. All is translucent,

the bleat of goat, the wet organs tied,


the shock of desire as my

nipples rise.





after A.R. Ammons, The City Limits



When you consider redemption is

neither without or within, but

an in-between place where there


is no one; when you consider

the mountain’s careless address

and we, so tiny beneath its slate blue hue;


when you consider the fragility of the

human body, love and its transform-

ations; the monarch butterfly’s long


journey, to die. Of what are we made?

And why? What crushes, what circles?

I wash my dishes, smaller bowl beneath


the slightly larger one, and larger one;

the sudsy water drains in a spool.

When you consider…







I come back to you.  That ruffle

beneath your surface, piano beneath your hands,

the wild muscularity of your voice.


Where does it lead? I open to you as if

I am in need of prayer. Happiness, o Happiness, you sigh,

is only snatched from something approaching



Perhaps. I walk in leaner and

leaner circles, climb these hills without

knowing how I get here.


Oh, you knew me once,

knew to kiss

the inside

of my wrist,

how I am mesmerized by sunlight.


I try for your Thingness. Your

long experience of —unsayable.  Your yellow,

blue gentian.  But I cannot—

I am this—


—the passage of slaves, the haul of wagons, the People,

the censer of dust sweeping across the Plains.




Noli me Tangere


           After Caroline Forche’s Blue Hour



Each day, blue is caught

in its blue hour, held trembling within white

walls in a large room.


In the poem we read ” l’heure bleue – cerulean,

gentian, hyacinth, delft, jouvence.” Milky hours.

Slant light, etching the face of yourself.


This comes to us, this blue hour. Some may be helpless

before it, kneeling in its pool; others, delight

and move on through to the kitchen, to prepare


a thick stew. Potatoes, carrots, celery,

cilantros, the tender cut of beef.

A few move toward the blue, hands


before them, as if to be taken. They


will never be taken… for Noli me tangere

is always whispered, as if  the blue hour was for

this – to understand for a hour, this.














Veronica Golos is the author of Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award. Poems from Vocabulary are translated into Arabic by poet Nizar Sartawi; and A Bell Buried Deep (Storyline Press, 2004), co-winner of the 16th Annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Edward Hirsch, and adapted for stage and performed at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA.  A Bell Buried Deep will be re-issued by Tupelo Press in 2014, with an introduction by poet Patricia Smith.  She is the co editor of the Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, and Poetry Editor for the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion.  She lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A., with her husband, writer David Pérez.



Articles similaires