>Please. Keep close, the best part’s almost here. ( its anatomy: fearful & round blossoms from, replant redolent dead sordid bunch watches the weather & peels hopeless basketweaver emerge berried handfuls mixed with sweat, though lash branded skin in one motion strips reveals a crosshatched plain of sweet. fearful from the weather of the bundle through which, where, anything might emerge but ) Soon we will swim in the cool cave full of warm water.
[ed.- a poem should never be boiled down to a phrase for the sake of explaining it. especially by its author. often times, when i really explore a poem thoroughly i feel as though the central notion, the thing the poem’s author hopes to convey, or teach to, or show the reader, can be encapsulated in a phrase or a cliche. (there are subtle or explosive variations of the planted philosophy if the poet is worth his weight in words.) the example that walks up to me and tugs on my boxer shorts is Jorie Graham‘s “The Guardian Angel of the Little Utopia” from her book Errancy, which is a stunning and swirling lyric that quiets my heart with each read. i feel unnaturally vulnerable so baldly and explicating a poem’s meaning with so little evidence. nonetheless, in a phrase the poem is about how observation of a thing alters its DNA explicitly. there’s an exact phrase for this that i cannot stumble across no matter how much ground i cover. anyway. all poems are ABOUT something, but every poem is also a lover; no lover is ever simply unidimensional. that’s not a lover that’s a whore. (and all art flirts with prostitution. a conversation for a different time.) but, returning to my central point re: “boiling down” a poem, it is essential that the poem have a solid image and a strident, specific language that doesn’t allow too much interpretation. the interpretation comes in its context, not its content. (again, lets leave the content v context / essence v existence conversation for another time.) now i’m thinking of William Carlos Williams‘s “Red Wheelbarrow” a classic example-poem because of its length and mock-simplicity. that poem seems to come pre-boiled, but nothing could be further from the truth. are we addressing plainly the image? are we addressing the biological function of sight? (Williams was a medical doctor.) what are we, as reader, binding or pulling apart when we read this poem? why the unequal couplets with their 2-syllable even lines that split object and descriptor? (which, for me, has always given pause and troubled) indeed, for such a ‘simple’ little poem we must ask ourselves on multiple readings, “What the fuck?” in its content this poem is the opposite of surreal (hyperrealism). in its context, to me, it’s always been way out there. i visually dive into its imago-characters until the chickens (who refuse to sit still, by the way) burst into word-associations games, historiograms, pure particles. so where i’m going with this is trying to explain what i do in my poetry. in crafting my poetry. you CAN boil it down to a single idea. in the poem above, ‘Crosshatch’, i even suggest how to do it. but i’m being a bit evasive. i’m giving you the right directions in the wrong language. i hope to come back to all the poems i’ve posted on this site at some point, they’re all put onto the blog in a pretty raw format, some of them completely unedited. it’s important to come at them again. this poem i arrived at again this morning because of a sort of fight/argument i was part of with my wife. the poem is in no way about IT or HER but it addresses it AND her. this is the thing no one can ever say but every poem ever written has been about. meaning and suprameaning. not a single one of my poems is perfect, and only a handful (5? 10?) are considered done. as Paul Velary said: “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” anyway, i hope you think about my poems, is all. its not your job to get tangled in them, though it is MY job to trap you, even if just for a moment, and watch you play with your escape.]