Geoffrey G. O’Brien

Geoffrey G. O’Brien is the author most recently of People on Sunday (Wave Books, 2013); Metropole (2011), Green and Gray (2007), and The Guns and Flags Project (2002), were all published by The University of California Press. He is the coauthor (with John Ashbery and Timothy Donnelly) of Three Poets (Minus A Press, 2012) and (in collaboration with the poet Jeff Clark) of 2A (Quemadura, 2006). O’Brien is an Associate Professor in the English Department at UC Berkeley and also teaches for the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison.

 

GLASS

Is arrogant, is like small talk,
Dares you to let it be
Enough, goes most opaque
When clear, most clear when
Sent opaque, a thing which
Never totally happens,
Sign to the eye to ignore
What it passes, trespasses,
Which is that everything
You come to’s false rim
Or edge but still real
Except this night they fell
Or each seemed to as we
Walked past, not on
Their own but right through
The doing of others whereby
They chased away the boundaries
In a usual self-managing
And now could touch again
What presented to the eye,
They were cars, I mean
The people were, but also
That’s what they unsaw
Into fire and sudden webs
Of craquelure we walked
Past, talked of as it happened
Like weather, small, or at least
Local, here, come down
On both sides, changing
Nothing into everything
So briefly the clear went
Clearer, like a sound or
What still keeps you out
Of a putative store when,
The glass gone, its absence
Hangs like an instant repair
Of the law almost running
From eye to fingertips
But not there so much,
Not so much there
As attributed, the difference
Between standing looking
And looking as you walk
With others, too many,
Not enough, while some
Go out to the edge of the edge
Where it waits to be crazed.

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