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Mary Jo Bang
Mary Jo Bang
Mary Jo Bang's work has been chosen three times for inclusion in the Best American Poetry series...
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FURTHER READING
Related Poems
Glass Corona
by Brian Henry
Lighthouse
by Alfred Corn
The Balloon of the Mind
by W. B. Yeats
Related Prose
The World Anew: Mary Jo Bang and Jennifer K. Dick in Conversation
by Mary Jo Bang
Transcript: Mary Jo Bang in Conversation
by Mary Jo Bang
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The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity

 
by Mary Jo Bang

We were going toward nothing
all along. Honing the acoustics,
heralding the instant
shifts, horizontal to vertical, particle

to plexus, morning to late,
lunch to later yet, instant to over. Done
to overdone. And all against
a pet-shop cacophony, the roof withstanding

its heavy snow load. So, winter. And still,
ambition to otherwise and a forest of wishes.
Meager the music floating over. The car
in the driveway. In the P-lot, or curbside.

A building overlooking an estuary,
inspired by a lighthouse.
Always asking. Has this this been built?
Or is it all process?

Molecular coherence, a dramatic canopy,
cafeteria din, audacious design. Or humble.
Saying, We ask only to be compared to the ant-
erior cruciate ligament. So simple. So elegant.

Animated detail, data from digital.
But of course there is also longstanding evil.
The spider speaking
to the fly, Come in, come in.

Overcoming timidity. Overlooking
consequence. Finally ending
with the future. Take comfort.
You were going nowhere. You were not alone.

You were one
of a body curled on a beach. Near sleep
on a balcony. The negative night
in a small town or part of an urban abstraction.

Looking up
at the billboard hummingbird,
its enormous beak. There's a song that goes. . .
And then the curtain drops.





Audio Clip
November, 2007
Washington University
From the Academy Audio Archive



From The Eye Like a Strange Balloon, Poems by Mary Jo Bang. Copyright © 2004 by Mary Jo Bang. Published by Grove / Atlantic. Appears with permission of the author and Grove / Atlantic.
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