Philip Metres

Curriculum Vitae | Ode to Silo City
October 24, 2016 Metres Philip

Curriculum Vitae


I’ll keep the ululating
to a minimum
and wear the warpaint

outside the stadium.
I’ll clutch a Kalashnikov
loaded with cardamom,

and speak in tongues
I can sell as native.
Display my bones

in the natural museum—
I’ll ask you to gas me,
pretend to be plaintive.

Pimp my pride. I promise
I’m noninvasive.
In the middle of light,

I look on the night side.
Ask me what I do,
I’ll say: unoccupied.

I’ll set my nation’s
whole body on fire,
simplify the fractions

of political rhyme.
I’ll skein this skin
to the highest of high wires,

refuse to become
a man of my time.
I’ll lift the veil

off this crowded lift
in which we are silent—
as if guilty in our climb—

and offer this tongue,
this ripped-off gift.



Ode to Silo City


O grain grown
gone as rain

O tract of weed
& crack concrete

silos your eyes
climb & widen

our ears & rove
inchoate echo

quieter the voice
easier to hear

you opposite
of paper press

onto the oppo
site of ink

rise from the rude
& brutalist rust

into the gentle
ghost-grain future

into this rusted
wind-ached throat

open to open
these loud clouds

Philip Metres has written a number of books and chapbooks, most recently Sand Opera (2015), A Concordance of Leaves (Diode 2013), abu ghraib arias (Flying Guillotine 2011), To See the Earth (Cleveland State 2008), and Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941(University of Iowa 2007). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, and Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry. He is a winner of the Beatrice Hawley Prize, the Anne Halley Prize, two Arab American Book Awards, and the Cleveland Arts Prize.