Turn to Distance

from by Jacob Miller



Until the gears have stopped turning in the desert
beneath the trains that run there from my mind
bearing salt and gold I guess, mostly dry dust and corn husk,
until then I'll be leaving for a time.

When you see what I've been making in this wasteland
(inside a beehive I turn cities in my hands
and I'm lost I must suppose, among things that I must know,
a library of dust, a bridge of sand),

When you see the bright new things that I will carry,
language, terset lines, a turn of phrase,
all the art that I have left: the only grace that I possess,
do you think maybe you'll talk to me again?

I don't feel what I don't make, so certain things are hard to take;
always changing all my thoughts to find myself where I am lost.
If I had something to say,
I'd just write it down later and keep walking away.

When I ride the boat back over across the ocean,
returning from the land of wine-dark seas
I'll stink of lion skins and bronze, metaphors for God
but I'll wash it off until my mind can breathe.

Gears still turn to distance the emotion;
now there's artifice in everything thing I do.
Turn this silent thing to art, give it voice, estrange the heart
from what it's made and what it's turning into.


from Changing Signs, released April 21, 2016



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Jacob Miller Grinnell, Iowa

slow music for slow feelings


page artwork by destini powell

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