Sunday, September 19, 2010

the stuff that dreams

Was it in a nightly rite of purple pique
that the wobbly stanchion light was lit
and gilded with a thin taut elastic strip?

Perhaps this was only light for quiet eyes.

So easy to be fooled by the early rings
of baked and boiled dough, day old moldy
but flash frozen first or so it's come told:

kinky perks, smoky karaoke in night's pane,
she tapped with evaporated paint exhaling,
that it's its own guard for an evening stance.

At Last was echoed through the rabbit count,
sweeping, dissipated, with incidental focus,
prone with one leg straight, one knee akimbo

to sail past yesterday and tomorrow's swirl,
unafraid to mark that evening sky as brilliant
in an inner teeming puddle of startled starlings,

where certainty is assured by uncertainty
and that feeder flock full of noisy finches
brings ripened grains fully chocked of nijer.

The slap of time that excites the nose
whispers go, little redwing, flutter past
the bales of dried grass that seeded winter

through the squawky radio static of geese-
it's hard to really see with eyes sewed shut
there is no way to crisscross court the warmth.

A good-looking man in tan pants and a blazer
enters the hive of commerce briskly strapping
with our Mary of the holy sporting harness

in the middle of a sacred sandwich half and
half again you can smell the perfume of ecstasy
and rejoice and let us squirt, again exhausted.

Thinking of dogs and a blackbird appears
prompting a peripheral pump of adrenaline-
this was not what we expected in early race

a chignon of meaning that almost teases time,
the roar of the manila leaf bag drifts into sky
past where is parked the crap-mobile this time,

not lashed by hair outside the serene call of nylon
repressed desire resolved in tinting windows rolled
begalia pollen a mark that is always washed away

it starts to get interesting right about now-
done in by ruminating ovine, moon equipped
and no longer sanctioned by a state of grace

he officates from two wheels screeching rust,
available inside delivery and liftgate service
sensing movement where there is none, whoa,

and a feathered fight for the last french fry.
To be the possum unloved by many at sunset
with a slinky tail that can prove delightful

but only when it's crepuscular and easy.


  1. That was quite a funny read to me - dunno whether it was meant to be but some lines just made me chuckle...

    I liked the 'serene call of nylon' - Nylon, there's just something about it!

  2. @Mr. Anotnionioni: Most of my poems are supposed to be funny. That being said, I make no claims as to the normality of my sense of humour. Ha!

  3. Extremely clever write! Such jesting imagery! I fully enjoyed every stanza.

  4. @KCM: Thx. The best thing about your comment was prompting me to read your blog.

  5. You can't be serious. Where did you study?

    Victoria Jones,
    Writer-in-Residence, York University

  6. This is interesting..a trip of the mind that is held by a"thin taut elastic strip" that allows the reader to crane his/her neck to follow you. Then you snap it back to control, "only when it's crepuscular and easy."

  7. @Ms. Jones: That bad, eh?

    @Ms. Tchir: Interesting read on your part. Cheers.

  8. Yes, so bad that it's impossible to believe you're writing serious poetry. I commented because I'm genuinely curious as to whether you write for the purpose of mocking poetry, or if you're simply a lazy writer that can't be bothered to learn a thing or two about basic poetic form, structure, etc.

    It seems you start with a thoughtful intent, but become terminally distracted by your thesaurus.

    If you take yourself seriously as a writer, why not give your art the dedication it deserves. Take a class. Learn a few basics so that you can put those hifalutin words and primal concepts together in a more readable fashion. Give the writer snobs out there reason to applaud you rather than laugh at you.


  9. @Anonymous: Thanks for the reply. Interesting observations if a bit tired and academic for my tastes. "Every attempt is another kind failure" isn't it? I don't care about the MaFiA and their snobbery and puffery. If I give them a good laugh, at least I've contributed a moment of joy to the world. I do not purport to be doing anything more than "messin' 'round with words" for my own amusement. What the reader takes, they bring themselves. Any conceptual framework that can be codified such that it leads to the ultimately pompous "this is Poetry!" will eventually fade from fashion and be replaced by a new shiny object of devotion. In fact, trying to define poetry in non-poetic terms is a bit daft, isn't it? (cf. Yeats, The Scholars) Thanks for trying to learn me Victoria: it didn't take. Aw, Horsefeathers! Ha!

  10. To Anonymous (and other "critics") on W.S. Merwin's birthday -

    "Berryman," by W.S. Merwin

    I will tell you what he told me
    in the years just after the war
    as we then called
    the second world war

    don't lose your arrogance yet he said
    you can do that when you're older
    lose it too soon and you may
    merely replace it with vanity

    just one time he suggested
    changing the usual order
    of the same words in a line of verse
    why point out a thing twice

    he suggested I pray to the Muse
    get down on my knees and pray
    right there in the corner and he
    said he meant it literally

    it was in the days before the beard
    and the drink but he was deep
    in tides of his own through which he sailed
    chin sideways and head tilted like a tacking sloop

    he was far older than the dates allowed for
    much older than I was he was in his thirties
    he snapped down his nose with an accent
    I think he had affected in England

    as for publishing he advised me
    to paper my wall with rejection slips
    his lips and the bones of his long fingers trembled
    with the vehemence of his views about poetry

    he said the great presence
    that permitted everything and transmuted it
    in poetry was passion
    passion was genius and he praised movement and invention

    I had hardly begun to read
    I asked how can you ever be sure
    that what you write is really
    any good at all and he said you can't

    you can't you can never be sure
    you die without knowing
    whether anything you wrote was any good
    if you have to be sure don't write

  11. @richfigel: spot on. thanks. reminds me of:

    Come with old Khayyam and leave the wise
    to talk. One thing is certain that time flies.
    One thing certain and the rest is lies.
    The rose that blooms once forever dies.

  12. Gerry,

    I admire your sense of autonomy. Art is that. We are not all (as in all of us) about being refined, defined, pegged and holed. What's important is that you mean to express something that matters to you. Artistic style, sex and religion are so very personal. I may not be fond of your style, but I've come to learn that following convention doesn't make us un-worthy. It just makes us different.

    Pardon me. But you are SO different that I wasn't sure you were serious. I had to ask.

    I wish you the best of luck in your creative and personal peregrinations. (I know you'll look that up. Then use it in your poetry.)

    Yours truly,
    Victoria (Word Lover)

  13. At first I was so glad you came around to my way of thinking and then you go and ruin it all by calling me a falcon. Rats!

  14. @EATING P: Thanks for the read. According to your blog, you seem to like Poetry. ;-)

  15. i'm not sure what i enjoyed more - the poem or the saucy little exchange that followed. :)

  16. @joaquin: thx. yes, just having a little fun with a prissy critic. very amusing, no?

  17. saucy and prissy---now who can beat a combination like that??

    i liked the long and languid narrative feel of your piece, here. and the starlings line, that was nice. i also liked the birds all over the thing !

  18. @Harlequin: Yes, it is a delightful combination. Have to consider that phrase for my next failure. Appreciate the read as always. Cheers.