The Heart is Improvisational
Edited by Carol Lipszyc
Poets attribute an array of roles and capacities to the involuntary muscle. The heart becomes a repository of erotic and familial love, and a sanctuary for memory. The poets explore the flux of the heart’s responses and instigations: the heart’s tender overtures, its joyous pulse, its mating call for the other, its changeable temperament, its final tick in freeze-frame. Among the poets featured: Kenneth Sherman, Lorna Crozier, Marilyn Bowering, Roo Borson, Patrick Lane, Charles Bukowski, Eugénio de Andrade, John Barton, Robyn Sarah, Mary di Michele and Lewis Turco:
I offer you the same old gift again:
This ancient shriveled organ of my flesh
That we have used since who remembers when?
It’s shoddy now, but it was strong and fresh
When we were young. You held it in your hand
And felt its pulse when we had seed to thresh.
It throbbed for you and needed no command
To flame and ache when it was called upon
To do its duty, dilate and expand
To fill the evening or the breaking dawn,
The morn or afternoon with the lover’s art…,
So many years have passed now and have gone
To seed, so many organs have come apart --
Still, I offer you this same old heart.
— Lewis Turco