Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Poems with Self-Critique!

I have not been blogging because my involvement in actual life has increased, aided by the NBA playoffs, in which my Lakers have gone up 3-0 against Denver. I hope there's no letdown for the fourth game.

Meanwhile I will not blog about my slightly improved mood without at least a month behind me.

I can't recall which of my recent poems I posted here and which I didn't and in what form. So consider this a redux of recent works in a more polished (though never finished) form.

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Not much of a blog, was it? Today, April 28, is another day. And I'm hungover and bloated from gorging Thai food and drink for the first time in years.

My chief literary correspondent and critic (next to Kathleen) sent me some illuminating critique about my poetry, and to simplify, argued that I needed more passion, as if my intellect were a nail in the tire of emotion. I concur.

I had my poetry labeled "inhuman" long ago at a certain forum. Part of this defect is my deplorable tendency to over-revise many poems, squeezing the juice out of them on the way to "perfection." I've probably ruined more poems than I've helped.

I can't help it--it's searching for the Logos through logos--the ineluctably indomitable, the predictably unavoidable, the kairos moment when time stops and you hold experience in your hand like a baseball.

Squeeze the seams!


Just say "No" to Kilorats,

CE


****************

Dare

Because I doubt my being
I drape you in words
like papier mache'
that when you withdraw
I have a hollow to inhabit.

Everyone is Jesus to me,
everyone who leaves
a space to occupy.

Notice how many hollows
letters contain
and the spaces
between words:

Dare you to find me!




Too Many Voices

I've lost myself.
Some mad imposter
puts on airs,
practices smiles,
greets my mailman,
pages through
yearbooks and journals
seeking my erasure.

The angels, in particular
the obese ones
dedicated to pleasure,
laugh, it is their job.
If I could laugh
I might remember.

In my dream
I lead the sheep to safety
only to discover
at last, the joke:
They are all
wearing my face.

Each time I wake
I lose another piece of me.
Out of charity
I embrace what's left.
There was too much
of me anyway,
too many voices, a chorus
of purloined identities.




Valentine 2008

You are a granite waterfall, my love.
Your stone is slippery and sensuous.

I fall into a pool beneath your feet
And lie upon a thousand polished stones.

I look up at the alders overhead
And marvel at how you give yourself to them

Without diminishment, without attrition,
A steady miracle of sacrifice.

Downstream trout fingerlings mouth bits of algae
Because your pounding fed them oxygen.

The vines that weave the cliffs live off your spray.
Bright orange salamanders make their bed there.

A pale succulent grows in your cleft,
Its purple stalk a wand of yellow stars.

Inside the moss-lipped haven of your granite
I hide behind your thundering skirt of water.

Your clarity dissolves all self-deception.
I would not recognize myself without you.

The shelter of trees is never so generous
As your pouring and thinning of yourself

Into the forest air. I kneel and drink
And like the alder rise up satisfied.

3 comments:

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  2. " ...argued that I needed more passion, as if my intellect were a nail in the tire of emotion.

    If someone said that to me, I wouldn't have the foggiest idea what to do with their advice. Does your correspondent believe that passion and intellect are seperated from one another with independant valves that you can adjust to suit your objective? Little less mind here, little more spirit there ... I'm no poet, but I really don't think it happens like that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous8:04 PM PDT

    "as if my intellect were a nail in the tire of emotion."

    Is it a zero-sum? Does one necessarily steal oxygen from the other?

    I've read Dare before for sure and I believe Too Many Voices. Sounds like old age is leaving you with a manageable number of personalities.

    take care
    norm

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