Two more nights and 2012 is upon us. As I was sifting through Joel M. Toledo’s poetry, our Featured Poet in GatheringBooks for November and December, I was struck by this title: The New Hollow as taken from his book The Long Lost Startle. I felt that it would be a fitting contribution to Poetry Friday (which is hosted this week by Julie Larios from The Drift Record) – and as a way for us to usher in 2012 with opening doors, silences in conch shells, and the splitting of stones asking one and all to come in, come in, and perhaps, rest. Have a quiet and peaceful New Year everyone.The New Hollow by Joel M. Toledo
The shadows scraping the stone as the light sears into the interior. Or how the dips and hollows creasing the rock’s face are slowly vanishing. You open the door wider and all that is to be feared in the world has receded, pointed things, sharp corners rounded safe as if in the night someone had come and chiseled out all that may cause further bleeding in the room.
Or maybe it’s simply because it is a new morning and the visitors have arrived, the blanket stretched out and folded neatly on the bed. Outside, the overhead stars are diminished, casting unimportant glimmer, and there is no one waiting in the old house. I know; you are more easily astonished by vast, joyful spaces
like when you press an ear against a conch shell or dip your fingers into a strange jar. That kind of thing. So much air in there, too many whisperings as to why you keep holding out your hand to the sky and to the treetops in between, leaves and the violent stirring. Yet these things do not matter as much
as that rising sense of displacement, as if where you are is not enough, as if there in the very center of a split rock, you will find a gentler heart, an almost throbbing heart, the sun hitting it just right and you are most welcome to listen.
Some say when you open the stone you just get more stone. Someone else spoke of a passing through, an emptying, a new hollow. There are many roundish holes in the body, insisting on a profound generosity. But ah, how good it is to just hold the fresh hand and to know what once was bleeding abundantly, for you, is now asking you to come in.