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I’ve tried to upload some videos that inspired today’s poem, but I can’t get them off my phone. Just not that savvy. Today I sat in front of this screen for about eight hours, while my sweet HP took the girls poppin’ tags, so that I could write a paper on metacognition. Metacognition, for those wondering, is simply thinking about thinking. It is, and has been, the catchphrase in education recently.  That is not a bad thing, it’s actually great. Teaching kids how they learn is a great thing. That said, I’m tired of being in front of this screen tonight. I had a great poem planned, carryover from last night’s level up, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. 

I’ve been thinking about, among other things, about courage and the words of resistance. Maybe one reason American poetry by white people got so confessional is that we have the freedom to go interior. There’s no sheer terror like the kind of the Russian poets, or that of Agha Shahid Ali, or of any one who hasn’t grown up in an American suburb, or of any  great singer of freedom left, so we wrote about our uteruses or pill addictions instead. That is not to say that poetry isn’t amazing. It is. But what I want for art is resistance. Resistance exists in American poetry, and it belongs to those who live on the borders of land, of the borders of economics, skin tones, or identity, but the rest is oh so safe. I don’t want to play it safe any more.

I had an exchange last night with a wonderteacher and friend who reminded me of my love of Osip Mandelstam, whose fight was the poem, who snuck from apartment to apartment in fear of his life, but who never stopped placing the whispy fragments into his pockets. Can you imagine living in a land that would kill you for your words? There are still those here who can. That made me think of how English doesn’t have nearly enough folding to encompass our fights. But actually, I think it does, and this poem comes from a desire to join that global thrust. It would be better with the videos I took tonight of the creek bed, but then again, I’m no Tarkovski, and really, we’re all better off for it. 

Here:

Riser Creek

The groundwater is an uprising, the bed is another one.                                                   The Cedars undertake greening in minute thrusts,                                                     without permission.                                                                                                  

Imagine radical talking in the swelling of rushing snowmelt,                                              what a difference from the dead cold December.  A great thawing is at hand, and the return of the owls.                                                                                                            

 The stones are reclaimed for art, and everyone butting their heads against sheer mortality will stick their heads against the rock and feel                                                   the ice water carry their strands along.                                                                                                                      

Wild spiders swing from webs caught on                                                                branches, flying above the rush. Soon a                                                                                     great mud will come,

and it is made of young earth. 

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Searching for the fight of art…anyone know where it is? Happy Friday, poem friends. Love, Anna. 

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