"What Silence Is"

Aug 4, 2014

The Adagio in Rachmaninoff's
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor
is so sweet-sad you stop what
you're doing, you can hardly
turn your ears from its deliberate
infiltration, you remember
what you didn't want to remember,
the sweetness of early love,
the sad days and nights that follow,
the way days and nights collapse
into one another in the fury of live
which is so like what later you call hate,
there are no laws for this, shrapnel, shards,
shattering, the indistinctness, the disappearances,
even trying to keep from remembering,
the music fills you the way words
in a poem are meant to, the way
a memory suddenly can stop the heart.


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After serving as Director of the Brockport Writers Forum & Videotape Library (SUNY) for many years, Stan Rubin moved to the Olympic Peninsula in 2003 as founding director of the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA at Pacific Lutheran University. He has published poems in such journals as AGNI, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The Laurel Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Carolina Quarterly, The Florida Review, Poetry Northwest, Willow Springs, and others. He is the author of three previous full-length collections, Hidden Sequel (Barrow Street Press, 2006), winner of the Barrow Street Book Prize; Five Colors (WordTech, 2004); and Midnight (State Street Press, 1995), as well as two chapbooks, On the Coast (2002) and Lost (1981). His work has been anthologized in The Poets Guide to the Birds (Anhinga Press, 2011) and Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets (Oregon State University Press, 2006) and elsewhere. His poetry has received a Constance J. Saltonstall Foundation fellowship for Poetry. "What Silence Is" was published in There. Here., his 2013 collection published by Lost Horse Press.