Jay Hopler in “The Coast Road”, the last poem in The Abridged History of Rain, invites us to pay attention:
It’s not what one listens to that matters,
But what one listens for—
I listen for repetition. I listen for inversion.
Take for instance the repetitions in “Umbrian Anecdotes”. They unroll like school exercises. In one instance “east” is replaced by “west” and the parakeets in both instances “fly chattering, pieces of ripe fig falling from their orange beaks.” These lines from the second stanza provide the bridge between the opening stanza and the third.
Every evening, at sunset, a company of green parakeets leaves the
fig trees in the garden
Every evening, at sunset, these parakeets fly, pieces of ripe fig
falling in the garden
Look what he does with dogs in the eighth section of “The Rooster King”
Dogs pass no laws against you and knock not they your
daughters up and do not to Manhattan go with your last two
hundred dollars so, in general
Dogs are A-OK with me.
Later in section thirteen (“So Many Birds to Kill and So Few Stones”) we read “one / cannot help but flattened be by the persistence of the beautiful thing” where we almost read presence for persistence.
And so for day 2123