Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Some thoughts after reading too much poetry

You say there should be no I in poetry, no

Heart, no love, no mention of one’s great

Grandmother’s apron hanging

On the door. No, maudlin, no forked-

Tongues, no sentiment, no overwrought

Lines, empty rooms or signs of forced

Entries, breaks, no earnest, no sincere, no

Half, no heart, no self-indulgent diatribes,

No descriptions of former, fellating teenage

Selves; no glacial family dramas, no matter how

Original or spare, no making linen, no organic

When there are structures, constraints,

Poems wide, and wild, as Africa propagating

Daily your inbox, words, words, like so much lint

And silt, words, tough husks, upon the page.

No more the half-drunk glasses tipped

This way and that, the poet sitting thoughtless

On a bough, whimsically, confessing this

And that, a capricious grin, a gin, the light

Upon a seed of, no, no, not that…

No more poet standing ear to fox’s paw,

Or tongue in grandfather’s rusted—no

Familial, no roots, no digging or rhyming

Tools, no trivets, trinkets, familiar, no

Romantic fields of feelings, no seamless,

Scentless, sensual, no arabesques of desire.

In our times, you say the poet is a conveyor

At the belt of generated text, head bent,

Labouring information overload into shapely

Avant gard. And applaud we do your bent-

Boxed work, the clarity of your mind, decisions

Grappled, hooked, as well-trained Mountaineers

Scale the sheer face of text. But poetry

Is not a concrete structure, and if not

Wrought with tears and fears, how will these lines

Expose my shameless loving of all things rooted

In the earth, vein and blood, Mother, Father, shit

And death, sorrow and desire, words, common,

Soft as river rock, and oh, I’ll tell you just

How lonely we all are, abandoned in a pretext

Of connected thoughts, and reaching out

Right now, across the black gulf of what not

To say, or be, and touching the face of

Why not be poet, and let poet be.

No comments: