Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rae Armantrout - Veil

A few Rae Armantrout suggestions, from VEIL – New and Selected Poems (2001):


NATIVE


How many constants should there be?

The slick wall of teeth?

The white stucco
at the corner,

flag on its perch
loosely snapping?


                    *

“Get to the point!”

as if before dark—

as if to some bench
near a four-way stop.


                    *

At what point does
dead reckoning’s

net
replace the nest

and the body
of a parent?


                    *

The apparent
present.

Here eucalyptus
leaves dandle,
redundant but syncopated.




THE PLOT


The secret is
you can’t get to sleep
with a quiet mind;
you need to follow a sentence,
inward or downward,
as it becomes circuitous,
path-like, with tenuously credible
foliage on either side of it—
but you’re still not sleeping.
You’re conscious of the metaphoric
contraption; it’s too jerky,
too equivocal to suspend you

And Nature was the girl who could spin
babies out of dustballs
until that little man
who said he had a name showed up
and wanted them
or wanted to be one
or a cast of cartoon
characters assigned to manage
the Garden
so even Adam and Eve discovered
they somehow knew the punchline:
the snake would swallow
the red bomb

Why is sleep’s border guarded?
On the monitors
professional false selves
make self-disparaging remarks.
There’s a sexy bored housewife,
very Natalie Wood-like,
sighing, “Men should win”—
but the only thing that matters
is the pace of substitution.
You feel like trying to escape
from her straight-arrow husband
and her biker boyfriend

You can’t believe
you’re on Penelope’s Secret.
A suitor waits
for ages
to be hypnotized
on stage.



OUR NATURE


The very flatness
of portraits
makes for nostalgia
in the connoisseur.

Here’s the latest
little lip of wave
to flatten
and spread thin.

Let’s say
it shows our recklessness,

our fast gun,

our self-consciousness
which was really

our infatuation
with our own fame,

our escapes,

the easy way
we’d blend in

with the peasantry,

our loyalty
to our old gang

from among whom
it was our nature

to be singled out

63 Comments:

At 11/14/2010 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fitting poems, these, for the New Yorker and the Best American Poetry?

Related to a couple posts below: Has anyone else heard the rumor that the Rejection Group is a collaboration between Kenny Goldsmith and Charles Bernstein? I've heard this from a reliable source.

 
At 11/14/2010 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am continually impressed by The New Yorker's ability to pull bad poems from every poet it publishes, no matter the aesthetic.

 
At 11/14/2010 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>Related to a couple posts below: Has anyone else heard the rumor that the Rejection Group is a collaboration between Kenny Goldsmith and Charles Bernstein? I've heard this from a reliable source.<

This makes us laugh.

Lies. And we know the source.

Be careful.

--The Rejection Group

 
At 11/14/2010 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Related to a couple posts below: Has anyone else heard the rumor that the Rejection Group is a collaboration between Kenny Goldsmith and Charles Bernstein? I've heard this from a reliable source.

No, no, no... It's obviously a collaboration between Mina Loy and Federico Garcia Lorca, channeled through d.a. levy's ghost...

 
At 11/14/2010 8:09 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Regarding the Kenny Goldsmith thing, I wrote Ron Silliman to ask if he had any information on it, and he wrote back a rather enigmatic email which is making me wonder.

Unlikely he'd respond, I suppose, but would anyone have an email for Goldsmith? I'm interested in pursuing this. Mine: kent.johnson@highland.edu

 
At 11/14/2010 8:26 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

For the Rejection Group question:

I prefer to think of the Rejection Group as The Rejection Group. It can stand or not stand on that.

As for the Armantrout:

Are these poems suitable for BAP or The New Yorker? Sure, why not? I think they're suitable for all readers of English, in any of its forms or venues.

 
At 11/14/2010 8:27 AM, Anonymous Micah Robbins said...

I can assure you that the Rejection Group includes _at least_ one individual of international prominence (in the po world at least), but to dwell on this fact misses the point . . .

 
At 11/14/2010 8:30 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Micah,

I agree, but I really like the vague threat in the comment from (I guess, though it could be anyone) The Rejection Group above.

For a moment I'm wishing I were one of them. It sounds like a lot of fun they're having.

 
At 11/14/2010 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Gallaher,

The fun is over.

--The Rejection Group

 
At 11/14/2010 8:35 AM, Anonymous Micah Robbins said...

John -- as for the vague threat: it's something to get used to. It took a bit of correspondence before I reached a functional comfort zone with the Group.

 
At 11/14/2010 8:38 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

It does appear Goldsmith, at least, is involved.

Interesting.

Kent

 
At 11/14/2010 8:43 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

The Rejection Group,

Yikes.

-JG

 
At 11/14/2010 8:48 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

And I now strongly suspect that Silliman is, too.

Um, Micah?

Kent

 
At 11/14/2010 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always wanted to belong to a group. Probably because I read The Three Musketeers when I was too young. It affected me.

-M.E.

 
At 11/14/2010 8:55 AM, Blogger vazambam said...

Try swallowing this: Huuklyeand Cinquor may be involved.

 
At 11/14/2010 8:59 AM, Anonymous Micah Robbins said...

Kent,

Have you written Silliman and asked him forthrightly? If so, I wouldn't hold my breath for a forthright answer.

Micah

 
At 11/14/2010 9:02 AM, Anonymous Micah Robbins said...

. . . which is meant more as a comment on Silliman than on the Rejection Group . . .

 
At 11/14/2010 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there's a hint in the fact that the question is under a post on Armantrout. I think The Rejection Group is Rae Armantrout & Kay Ryan.

 
At 11/14/2010 9:06 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Micah,

Yes, had a brief exchange with him today. Enigmatic response, as I said. My information comes from someone else. Doesn't sound like you really know? I suppose the facts will out, eventually.

There would be two strange developments if RS's hand is here: 1) that he and Goldsmith are collaborating, and 2) that a Language poet is finally doing something unconventional with authorship.

 
At 11/14/2010 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's Kent Johnson and Jordan Davis. All the rest of 2010 has been a hoax.

 
At 11/14/2010 9:19 AM, Anonymous Micah Robbins said...

Kent,

I do know. It's just that, in order for the unconventionality to hold up, we must allow it to work its course. That is, we need to be open to being unconventional readers that provide points of reception for unconventional authorship. But I do know (or at least I think I know) the identities of each member of the Rejection Group, save that of the new Hollywood member (which I'm sure to learn soon).

As for Language poets playing with authorship . . . seems like a long shot to me, though not outside the realm of possibility. I'm not sure most LANG / conceptual poets have thought through issues of authorship in such a way that they would know what to do outside the straight 'I am that I am' approach to writing & publishing.

 
At 11/14/2010 9:22 AM, Anonymous Micah Robbins said...

That being said, write Silliman and ask him directly. I challenge you to see if you can get anything beyond elision . . .

 
At 11/14/2010 9:25 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Micah,

I'm sure this is a true statement for most writers:

"I'm not sure most LANG / conceptual poets have thought through issues of authorship in such a way that they would know what to do outside the straight 'I am that I am' approach to writing & publishing."

But it seems such a narrow alley. I mean, it's not very difficult to think through those issues. it seems such an odd box to be in. Silliman did have that book he co-authored with Armantrout, though one can do that without going very far from 'I AM THAT I AM.'

I'm still waiting for some anon group to ask me to join. I'd love to be The Hollywood Poet. Or even Poet X.

 
At 11/14/2010 9:26 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

>But I do know (or at least I think I know) the identities of each member of the Rejection Group, save that of the new Hollywood member<

Micah, I note that this is the second time you said "new Hollywood member."

But the note from the Rejection Group the other day said that the new member was from Holland!

 
At 11/14/2010 9:28 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Kent,

If that's true, maybe I still have a shot.

Waiting by the phone.

-JJ "Hollywood" Gallaher

 
At 11/14/2010 9:43 AM, Anonymous Micah Robbins said...

Kent,

I see Hollywood; you see Holland. You see Silliman; I see someone else. But if our respective readings of the Rejection Group's note on their new member is any indication, perhaps there's something to your thesis re. Silliman.

And John -- stay by the phone . . .

Micah

 
At 11/14/2010 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But it seems such a narrow alley. I mean, it's not very difficult to think through those issues. it seems such an odd box to be in. Silliman did have that book he co-authored with Armantrout, though one can do that without going very far from 'I AM THAT I AM.'

John -- really? if it's not very difficult, why do so few poets do it?

we're watching you.

 
At 11/14/2010 9:52 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

That you're aware of. Maybe there's only one poet and we're all imagined.

I'm standing behind a mirror.

That's you waving. Be careful when you go to shake hands.

 
At 11/14/2010 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Micah,

Can you tell us if there is something else by the Rejection Group coming out in Sous les Paves?

 
At 11/14/2010 10:04 AM, Anonymous Micah Robbins said...

Stay tuned. More from the Rejection Group coming soon in SLP (though not necessarily in the forthcoming issue which will be out in the next few weeks). I do, however, have some wonderful pieces here . . .

 
At 11/14/2010 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give us a break, please. Kenny Goldsmith was already fizzling in 1964.

And this Conceptual Poetry gag, in general: See the essay by someone named Vanessa Place (with "Evil" in the title) for a good chuckle. It's in the latest issue of a journal called Lana Turner. You can buy it at Borders.

This is all perfectly ridiculous.

--The Rejection Group

 
At 11/14/2010 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>That you're aware of.

If there were lots of examples of ambiguous authorship out there, one would think we'd have notice of their ambiguity?

There is Yasusada, I know. What other authorship mystery in poetry remains unsolved?

 
At 11/14/2010 10:49 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Well there's Mary Oliver, for one. That's always been a mystery to me.

And I'm pretty sure Billy Collins and Charles Bernstein are the same person.

 
At 11/14/2010 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Kent Johnson is a fizzled joke, too.

--The Rejection Group

 
At 11/14/2010 12:57 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

.


Point
(advice to budding poets)


Make one. Then disguise it.
Make them all try
to figure it out.
Be witty and clever
and erudite.
Make sure they get
too frustrated
in the searching
to really get it.

Many references, too.
Some obscure, so they appear
to reflect a cultured mind.
Be scholarly and ever
more unclear.
Offer a gift but hide it,
something they will never find.
Tie it much too tight
to unwrap. Lock it,
without a key,
behind a door.

To the sad word-bound
this will be a joy…
another literary puzzle
to struggle with and pass empty
time, but to the rest of us
such a bore.


Copyright 2009 - Tall Grass & High Waves, Gary B. Fitzgerald

First published in Yank Your Chain Press.


.

 
At 11/14/2010 1:15 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Gary B,


That complaint is only applicable if you're correct in that there is something there that is then taken away or hidden. What if, on the other hand, it's not about hiding points, but investigating points? Does the point have to be found and then made into a term paper?

People at one time thought WIlliam Carlos Williams facile and light. Now he's quite admired for those same spaces. They were vapid, now they're resonant. As much rests with the reader as with the author. The performance is multiple.

What if one is called to relax a bit? To follow the suggestiveness of the language, just as one follows the suggestiveness of a landscape?

What if it's not an argument but a world?

 
At 11/14/2010 3:39 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

So, you are saying that a poem is basically no more than just random cloud shapes in which we find our own forms and faces? Like some kind of subconscious literary rorschach test?

 
At 11/14/2010 4:31 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

That is part of the "difficulty" in poets like Ashbery and Armantrout. There are always going to be people who look at the suggestive bits or the lack of overt transitions between "points" as a call to allow anything.

There is a difference between a poem that allows a degree of play between reader and poem and a poem that is a blank page. A gamut of allowable readings is different than anything goes. So, no, I'm not saying these poems are cloud shapes.

"How many constants should there be?"

Indeed. In teeth or housing, I'd say it's more inportant in teeth, though some would have it be housing. It's all about priorities.

 
At 11/15/2010 1:44 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Curious.

How would you compare Keith Waldrop's work to Armantrout and Ashbery?

 
At 11/15/2010 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With a spoon. Obviously.

 
At 11/15/2010 2:06 PM, Anonymous CENTORAMA said...

Today John Gallaher is featured (in a manner of speaking) at CENTORAMA along with Jennifer Moxley, Mario Petrucci, Wanda Coleman and Ellen Doré Watson: http://centorama.blogspot.com

 
At 11/15/2010 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here he was just asking to become part of a writing collective. It's a good day.

 
At 11/15/2010 5:16 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Arrogance is never a pretty sight.

 
At 11/15/2010 5:22 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Whose arrogance? There's usually plenty to go around.

Hey, I did say I wished I were part of a collective, so I guess that's fitting. Yikes, though.

So, Waldrop, huh? I don't know. Why do you ask? The Waldrops come from a different place, as aesthetic strands go, than Ashbery and Armantrout, who probably come from differing strands as well. Truth is, I'm not sure how to compare them. They all write poems. I like them. Other than that, the spoon idea has merit. Maybe a shiny spoon, convex side, in honor of Ashery's Self Portrait.

 
At 11/15/2010 5:24 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

"Ashery's"! Hah!

Ashbery's, then.

 
At 11/16/2010 12:30 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

John:

My comment was not directed towards you. I have never found you to be ungracious or even mean, let alone arrogant. I was referring to an earlier comment that I took as intended to be offensive (or at least insulting). Then I realized how ridiculous it is to be concerned about a remark from someone who is, OBVIOUSLY, ashamed of their own name.

At any rate, I was simply trying to develop a debate about ‘elliptical’ poetry based on your original Armantrout post. I see Waldrop, Armantrout and (as you know) Ashbery as ‘elliptical’ and therefore, ultimately, pointless. I was hoping someone would take the bait. I never even actually got to the POINT of my argument. Oh, well.

Jeez…where the hell are Bill Knott and Franz Wright when you need them?

 
At 11/16/2010 1:03 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Gary,

I'll take the bait. It's disconcerting to see you post your poems as counterpoints to other poets and their aesthetic. This seems to imply that it's a matter of choice. In the case of Ashbery, he has said numerous times that he doesn't have any forumla for how he writes other than using the poem as a launching pad for free associations. The experience of reading an Ashbery poem, rather than arriving at neatly packaged, sentimental lessons, usually reflects the arc of though as it rifts, peaks, and recedes.

Regarding Armantrout, I'm too inexperienced to make any serious claim for her poetry other than it challenges the reader to look at a text in new ways, which invariably leads to new interpretations.

By pointless, do you mean that elliptical poetry resists easy paraphrase? If so, then I agree.

 
At 11/16/2010 1:46 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

1. You know that times must be tough when someone wishes Franz Wright were commenting. Yikes.

2. This needs a bigger space than a comment stream back and forth, this “elliptical” question. But there really needs to be some sort of large venue discussion. I wish POETRY magazine or APR or someone would have a symposium on this topic. Specifically: different poetry requires different ways to reading.

The closest analogy I can think of is in painting. When the abstract revolution hit, and then the Pop Art revolution hit, each (and others as well, but these will stand) caused a renegotiation between viewer and painting. In poetry, the revolutions came without such a renegotiation. In paintings, there was a way to read paintings as narrative, but reading Motherwell in that way would make the paintings seem fairly pointless. The same with poetry. Reading Ashbery in the way one might read E.A. Robinson doesn’t yield much.

I think it’s because there are so few strong critics who write for a general audience about a wide gamut of poetry. Bloom and Vendler and Perloff were big, and currently we have Burt, who’s trying for that same large field, but it pales in comparison to the many critics and collectors and glossy magazines and galleries that are talking and encountering the visual arts.

So sure, elliptical poetry (if that’s the term one chooses) is pointless, if one reads it as if it were not elliptical poetry. So one expects something different from a poem by Mary Oliver than one expects from a poem by Rae Armantrout. If that isn’t something one feels like doing, then one can stay with Mary Oliver (or Rae Armantrout).

My own contention is that, to me, Mary Oliver’s poetry is usually pointless, because whatever I have to encounter in her poetry I feel I’ve already encountered so many times (both in content and form) as to make the encounter ephemeral.

 
At 11/16/2010 2:36 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

>My own contention is that, to me, Mary Oliver’s poetry is usually pointless, because whatever I have to encounter in her poetry I feel I’ve already encountered so many times (both in content and form) as to make the encounter ephemeral.<

I agree on Oliver's "content." But think we have to be more careful about "forms" we've "encountered so many times." There is nothing in more "transparent" rhetorical modes to be rejected ipso facto--for plainness, directness, spokenness, whatever: First name that pops to mind is Cavafy (granted, I read him in translation, but we know he's direct and limpid in the Greek, too, hardly a verbal "abstractionist," though indeed a complex prosodist). He's accessible, and you wouldn't want him any other way.

You know who's a beautiful poet? Rexroth as "translator"/rewriter of the Chinese... Now there's some plain style for you. On a desert island, I'll take his two Chinese books any day over anything post-avant-"elliptical" you got (tired word, elliptical)...

Well, plenty more in that regard, obviously! But you see what I mean, John?

apologies in advance if I'm partly misreading your point.

Kent

 
At 11/16/2010 2:54 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

That said, I should add that I feel sorry for people so closed-minded they can't read a great poet like Ashbery and sail...

 
At 11/16/2010 3:24 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Kent,

Indeed! This is why I was saying I wish there's be a symposium, something where people are in dialogue. I didn't mean form as in formal poetry, I was thinking more of her rhetorical strategies. Strategies that exist in a similar way as the content to telegraph the massaged, to my ears, overused point, in counterpoint to Fuzz's description of Ashbery's rhetorical project.

It's far from the plain, more conversational, style, which I'm quite fond of. Though that can be slack. Actually it's important to stress that any mode of artistic production can be (in the abstract) handled well or poorly by the artist. In defending Ashbery or Armantrout or Waldrop or Ronk, I'm not defending everyone who might get the "elliptical" (I agree that it's a tired label) label.

 
At 11/16/2010 3:47 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

That's what I thought, John. Glad we agree.

But you know. The fact is that there's been a whole generation of poets now more or less brought up to assume anything not quasi-Langpo-ey is just so much chaff. And what's the result of that? Lots and lots of poets who only want to read post-avant stuff.

"You can't say it that way anymore" is the dictum for the coolest kids and profs at the AWP. Even though I'm sure JA would be the first to say he hardly meant that you couldn't.

This is a serious issue, really. That someone like Silliman, who has proven via his blog to be more or less ignorant of the tradition (don't get me started on his obliviousness to poetry of other languages!), is seen by so many of these younger poets as some sort of sage of poetry is evidence of a certain crisis in the innovative wing of things.

 
At 11/16/2010 4:05 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Fuzz Against Junk said:

“In the case of Ashbery, he has said numerous times that he doesn't have any formula for how he writes other than using the poem as a launching pad for free associations.”

Translation: I can’t actually master modern craft or construct any good poetry for posterity, have no original ideas and so I just throw words at the wall and publish what sticks. Far be it from me to kill the cash cow!

Fuzz Against Junk said...

“By pointless, do you mean that elliptical poetry resists easy paraphrase? If so, then I agree.”

I mean that elliptical poetry is thin soup...literary pastry, poetic psychobabble.

 
At 11/17/2010 4:13 AM, Blogger David Grove said...

Gary,

To me, elliptical poets--or whatever you want to call the poets collected in the Convex Spoon River Anthology--are like "fuzz against junk." What does that mean? The war on drugs--fuzz (police) against junk (drugs)? The band that calls itself Fuzz Against Junk, possibly because it uses fuzz boxes? In a corner of my apartment I have some junk--a milk crate of LPs and old notebooks--befuzzed with carpet fibers, hairs, dustdevils, etc. That's literal fuzz against junk. "Fuzz Against Junk" is ambiguous, so you pick the meaning you like or balance conflicting meanings in your mind. "Elliptical" just means economical of words to the point of ambiguity. A lot of Ashbery's lines are like that. "Morning fed on the/light blue wood/of the mouth": is the sun eating a wooden bust? Maybe, maybe not. Burroughs can be like that too. This is from The Ticket that Exploded: "transitory halting place in this mutilated phantom." So we're pausing momentarily on our walk inside the ghost of someone who was mangled to death? Maybe, maybe not.

I remember watching a David Lynch film in a theater. When the camera was portentously creeping toward a swarm of rolypolies or something, a guy in front of me clutched his companion's arm and whispered in panic, "What does that MEAN? I don't UNDERSTAND!" Burt says elliptical poets want to be dissimilar to television, and in their ambiguity they are. Television tends to spell everything out for viewers like that guy with a low threshold of ambiguity tolerance.

 
At 11/17/2010 4:23 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

David,

This description is what's lead some people to describe (or criticize, as I think some Language poets [etc?] have?) this type of poetry as stemming from Romantic poetry, Keats's:

"I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason"

At least, they've sometimes talked about Ashbery that way (in that way, he's like Stevens in his reception).

 
At 11/17/2010 4:56 AM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

David>

Yeah, that interpretation of the title is more or less correct. It's actually the title of a now out-of-print collage satire of the 1950s war on drugs in the style of Max Ernst's Une Semaine De Bonte.

Kent>

I probably fall into that generation you described, but my interest certainly extends beyond the "post-avant" or whatever. Granted, I do tend to read abundantly from the "other" tradition, I also read a lot of poetry in translation. Generally my interest falls into the latter half of the 19th century onward.

And Silliman? I find it to be the dullest of Langpo. I prefer Armantrout or Hejinian. And while I check his blog, mostly cause it's the biggest poetry blog in the English language, I find I disagree with him more often than not.

Gary>

The problem with your translation is that it doesn't reflect the reality. Ashbery has produced numerous works that use traditional forms. When his work is not in form, it just reflects a different tool in Ashbery's rather large toolbox. Anyway, we've had this conversation before in some other comment stream. Do me a favor. Go find a copy of Some Trees and read "The Painter" and "The Grapevine".

Best,

Shane

 
At 11/17/2010 10:52 AM, Blogger David Grove said...

Right, John, there are 13 ways of looking at the fuzzbird, not just one, and to be content with that multiplicity of views--content with half knowledge, as I believe Keats says--is Negative Capability, which is related to the Romantics' attraction to the bizzare, irrational, and nocturnal. Picco pipe with pewter ferrule.

 
At 11/17/2010 4:15 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Fuzz Against Junk said:

“Gary>

…Anyway, we've had this conversation before in some other comment stream. Do me a favor. Go find a copy of Some Trees and read ‘The Painter’ and ‘The Grapevine’.

Best,

Shane”

I will do this, Shane. And in honor of our host, Mr. Gallaher, I will even buy a copy of ‘Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.’

Thanks for the guidance.

Of course, I have actually read some of Mr. Ashbery’s poetry before. One doesn’t need to eat rhubarb or beets more than once or twice to figure out that you don’t like it.

:-D

 
At 11/17/2010 5:11 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

.
The Result When Combining Max Ernst
With Kenneth Patchen


What dimensions of perceptive thought
manifest themselves in the dreams of cats:
in the dual voice of wind & wet
trees whispering, the only sound
in a forest shading violet
from the rainbow settling into

twilight?

In the grunts of tremendous whales,
in the flower whose petals fall
from coarse September gusts,
in the sweat of artists closing
weary eyes that have watched a brush
all night,
in the blind multiplication of
infinite cells,
in fleas running in the pubic
hairs of those who make love,
in a mouse squeaking as the hawk
pulls its intestines out,
in children standing hungry and naked,
in owls hiding in cathedral bells,
in nuns who watch the sea,
in you, as opposed

to me?

My cat of ruffled beard, goodnight.


.
Copyright 2005 - Evolving: Poems 1965-2005, Gary B. Fitzgerald

 
At 11/17/2010 5:48 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Dear Mr. Grove:

I enjoyed your comment. Very intelligent observations. We should get together and have a couple of beers some day. I sense a kindred spirit.

Unfortunately, I rarely leave the farm. I don't care much for humans.

GBF

 
At 11/18/2010 3:40 AM, Blogger David Grove said...

Liked the anaphora in your poem, Gary.

A farm sounds like a good place to be. I'd like to get out of the city for a while. Run around with a pack of dogs on a purple heath.

 
At 11/18/2010 2:19 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Thanks.

I also don't mind mentioning that I wrote that poem over thirty-five years ago at age 22.

I am Evolving.

 
At 11/22/2010 6:43 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

.

Advice to Young Poets


Just write it pure, boys,
no gimmick or game.
Give it balance and rhyme,
make sure the point’s plain.

Just say what you feel, girls,
what you think and you hear.
Give it rhythm and time
and make sure the point’s clear.


Copyright 2008 - HARDWOOD-77 Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home