Mudlark Poster No. 8 (1997)

Ruth Daigon

Polishing Silence | Threshold

Ruth Daigon is editor of Poets On:. She has won the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize (University of Southern California) 1997. She recieved "The Eve of St. Agnes Award" (Negative Capability) 1993, and she was runner-up in 1994. Her poems have been widely published: Shenandoah, Negative Capability, Poet & Critic, Kansas Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly, Greensboro Review, Sycamore Review, Atlanta Review, Connecticut Review, Calliope, Poet Lore, Zone 3, Tikkun.... She is featured, in Spanish and English, as El autor de la semana (11 al 17 de agosto de 1997) by Oscar Aguilera at the University Chile in Santiago. Her latest poetry collection is Between One Future And The Next  (Papier-Mache Press 1995). Gale Research has just published her autobiography in the Contemporary Authors Autobiography series. E-mail:

Ruth Daigon's PAYDAY AT THE TRIANGLE (Small Poetry Press, Select Poets Series) is now available. This book about the Triangle factory fire, In New York City, in 1911 where 147 young lives were destroyed is a collage of poetry in the voices of the survivors, the dead, the onlookers, the firemen, the families... old photos, clippings, news accounts....

TILLIE OLSEN: "Ruth Daigon's poetry gives life to those who perished in the fire as no one has done before.... poignant and beautifully written account... makes it a MUST."

STUDS TERKEL: "Ruth Daigon's poetic remembrance... touched me as profoundly as any I've read in years. It brought forth feelings of anger and sorrow.... It is so contemporary.... a MUST...."

Available from Ruth Daigon, 86 Sandpiper Circle, Corte Madera, CA 94925 single copy $9.00 (includes postage).


Polishing Silence

there is only this house
this room this field and a tree
pulling away from its roots

a trickle of water
like a thin strand of wire
drips from the tap

a fly perches on the rim
of a bowl wings lifting lowering
polishing the silence

light spreads its slow stain
around the empty coffee cup
and the quieter it is

the slower time passes
as i listen to my breath
the oldest sound i know



I hold the oldest word I know
cupped in my hand
smooth as stone
warmed by the sun
I rub it gently but it
won't release its secret

Last night it kissed me
on the lips, kept me
company a while
as I fed it, held it
up to the light
before letting go

Today I move
from room to room
going nowhere

Fragment by fragment
I gather thin
membranes of sound
and whatever knocks
I say

Come in

Copyright © Mudlark 1997
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