Friday, February 20, 2015

letter to anselm poem about poem


something I wanted to run by you. let me know your thoughts.
The second poem, "Look," seems weak. Snarky Malarky Mayakovsky. I like it, but not sure it isn't just a phase. You know? Also a little anti-preachy preachy. anyway,
This poem seems a bit more true somehow, for it's classic winning by losing pattern. I also like that in meta mode it posits both reader and writer as needing each other for release. Tonally off kilter poem perhaps, and perhaps easily mistaken for other more nefarious readings. Like Koch's, "Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg. Forgive me. I was clumsy and I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!"

Love Poem

You looked so restrained by your broken frame.
I immediately wanted to play music for you.

And so I took the job. I drowned myself in a lover's sob.
I hung myself from the ceiling of the broken hearts club.

I died the big O. I came the little death.
I fell into a big hole. Now who's sick?

Is it so wrong to love an invalid so?
So locked inside attention am I your man. 

Caught in the anticipation of conception.
I love you darling. Be free.

ps, just realized this also echoes the epigraph opening the book, about Zuul kissing the harnessed horse.

pps. forgive the OCD

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Post as Poem

Another book I have been enjoying is The Spanish Bow, a fictionalized account of Pablo Casals' life. I got the book because it was on a list I found googling the best books to give to your sister-and-law. I ordered it for her, but then it sounded interesting and got good reviews so I ordered it from the library. So far it has led me to listening to a lot of Faure. And just now to Casals playing Elgar's Cello Concerto. Elgar was waking up from sedation when he wrote the opening solo, probably under some kind of opiate, after a -for then- dangerous tonsil operation. I wrote an automatic poem after waking up from a deep Percocet sleep last week, so of relevance. And the fact that both the concerto and the poem are about war. Curious. Casals gives it Spanish duende here. Love the slight pause before the long note at the end of the opening solo, and then the way that note slides down.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Song not worth repeating

Codeine Coda

-Dreamt under the terrible influence of Percocet

I rode out of town on a lion skin, raw and feminine,
My satchel filled with lemons and limes, thyme and cinnamon
And sundry other spoils grown under the African sun.

The sounds of war were still stuck in my ears, the shock of the gun
Still ringing in my brain, the endless wailing of innocence undone.

Byron and Rimbaudelaire rode by my side and riding
Behind them on tired steeds a thousand legionnaires done fighting.

Who can free the sticky songs from tripping tongues and burning
Villages my companions beseeched me and I, bone weary, turning
To the salivating sky, could not reply for fear of starting
Another song not worth repeating.

I was listening to Faure and staring at The Tranquilized Tongue on my bedstand and thinking about this poem. So that's how Coleridge did Kubla Khan I guess. The words came to me upon waking! I hadn't dreamed the poem whole, but it came out whole, line by line, as if pre-formed. My opiated brain was taking various influences; I can feel Stevens, Whitman and Dickinson here, Ostashenvsky and Byron in the rhyme, Coleridge in the exoticism, and even some sprung rhythm from Hopkins.

Perhaps because it comes from the subconscious it has a dream like ability to evade any absolute interpretation. This is one of the trickiest things to get, something pointed that nonetheless has an open ended interpretability.

In this case, hard to tell if the soldiers are done fighting, because they can't stand the horror of it, or if they are done because they have just pillaged a city. It feels fiercely to be from both sides of the equation and that is fascinating. It is both the hero and the villain at once. You also can't tell exactly what a song means here, I don't think. And is this a song that bears repeating, or not, is implicitly asked by the last line.

And what does it mean to be raw and feminine? Especially in the light of soldiering?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

Genevieve cooked up heart-shaped Sofia-friendly pancakes for breakfast and then smoked-salmon sandwiches on toast for lunch, pepper tempeh over rice for dinner with home made french fries and garlic eggplant, followed by pink heart peeps for dessert. What a super mom. It was all heartastic (a word Sofia made up today.)

Before dinner I was able to fit in the first few chapters of a memoir on running by Haruki Murakami, which Gen picked up today from the library. The theme of the book is that pain is inevitable, but suffering's an option.

My back may be broken and the streets of New York frozen, but the cold kept us warm inside, and if my back kept me in bed, so be it, I have my girls curled up on either side of me, watching Miyazaki's Totoro, possibly the best film of one of the greatest artists alive, and what could be better?


Thursday, February 5, 2015