Thursday, October 21, 2010

New poem

I started blogging about seven years ago as a means to get my unpublished poems on the web, and in the evolution , of sorts, my emphasis shifted to reviewing and commentary, a variation of my activity in the seventies and the eighties when I was a music critic and occasional film reviewer. It was the suppressed academic in me coming forth, a personality trait that wanted nothing to do with the mush and incoherence of poetry (at least so far as writing it myself) that instead yearned for some hard headed clarity. It's not that it hasn't been fun--reviewing is , in itself, an adventure , an exploration in those subjects in which you've been immersed to discover, at last, what your opinion happens to be.

Yes, I love to think, whether good ideas or bad. Writing poetry, though, subsided, I had little to say, my images and ideas repeated themselves, my older material read more like unedited transcripts of inane rants than expressions made in a craft (emphasis on craft). So I stopped, more or less, writing poetry for two years, and concentrated rather on the critical side of things: having an opinion on everything is the easiest job in the world, until you tire of the sound of your own voice. Frankly, my prose had turned into a bleat and bray, a species of barn yard sarcasm. But there is hope, I guess: I've started writing poems again, as a means to loosen up the mental machinery that aligns words with thought. Some of them are not so bad, so please bear with my vanity as I offer this up, a lyric on recollection,
the waiting for the "it" of expectation to come through the door, or to seep under it.

Simple grace would do the trick

Simple grace
would do the trick
if there was anything
simple about grace.
tricky as it is.

I've tried drinking soft drinks
perched like a robin
on a limb, but there is
as much spill as thrill
as the horizon teeters
and telephone poles
out number tree tops
of likely places to land.

Walking on glass and hot coals
likewise get me nowhere near the center of things
where all the tension is released from my muscles,
the headaches abate, and my appetite returns.

You asked me once
what made me happy
and I imagined
an empty glass and
calendars stacked in the attic
next to the noise makers and paper slippers.

Your eyes, I said, your eyes
make me happy, the blue and green pools
I fell into when I lifted my head from
books, magazines, cheap airport novels,
when I turned my face from
the television and saw you writing letters,
talking on the phone,
staring out the window
to what might over the hill,
the tree tops, imagining who makes their way home
and pays what's come due
'though the world seems
to dissolve like
sugar wafers dipped
in angry, boiling water.

Where was the grace we wanted,
walking between bullet streams
and falling bricks to the end of the day
where ever after
was a calendar without pages?

On the other side of the street,
a bike chained to a bus stop signed, waiting for its master
for as long as it takes.

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