Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A blog about poems but not a poem about blogs

well it seems like just last year that it was national poetry month...oh, right...because it was. As April comes to a close I feel to honor this month that honors something that has been such a huge part of my life at every stage

As a hapless, nerdy 16 year old discovering Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Seamus Heaney and shock! and awe! Indigo Girls and Tori Amos
As an almostadult discovering the power of confessional poetry and Frank O'Hara's New York
As a student finding my heartbeat mirrored with more beauty than seemed possible in Yusef Komunyakaa, Louise Gluck, Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, Barrett Watten, Elizabeth Bishop,
Being taught by susan stewart (oh, sigh. beautiful language magician) and language poet Bob Perelman...
As a working stiff serving wine and cheese to the poetry world at the Kelly Writers House, slinking through literary conversations as though I belonged there... idolizing poets Kerry Sherin, Heather Starr and the universe that held them.
As an indoor poetry kid, sharing stories and words and jokes with brilliant poets all just trying to keep our words alive beyond desk jobs- nano, natalie, shari, jerry, john, adri
as a dreamer drifting off to the sounds of Ranier Maria Rilke poems and Ray Lamontagne songs...

I believe! I believe! I believe!

"Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking." -Oscar Wilde


I wrote something finally last night. I don't really care if it's good. I don't really care if anyone likes it. If you google Susan Stewarts name and get to this page, this is no indication of her talent as a teacher. It's just the tinkling sound of something that's been quiet for a long time.

After Walking on That Treadmill

We were children.
We could do splits and turn our bodies like windmills.
Here we were anchors, finally
strong against the pull of our tendons and young skin.
We could lay down with one foot high into the blue and the other
pressed against the ground to feel the rhythm of kingdoms beneath us;
Kingdoms where they lifted 150 times their body weight
And carried food without guilt- A prize.

I came back here with sweaty lips and matted hair
To see if I could find you somewhere in there.
Under brown layers of decomposing things
you were brought once
held high above the heads of everyone
moved along like an ocean liner on a sea of black bodies
and tossed lightly home.
Under blankets,
Under skin.
You did exist.
You do now, pressed between the spider and decaying leaves
Positioned like powder
Ready to dissipate, a disintegrating fossil of a raisin
You give life to the air.

1 comment:

Eurojism said...

Lovely effort. I always feel the same after walking on a treadmill. Or riding the exercise bike. Or an extended session on the Pilates ball.

I'd like to offer you a challenge to write a better poem about Richard Quest and methamphetamine than I have with my effort.

Difficult, but not impossible ...