No ghazal tonight. I’ll try again another time. I don’t feel like counting syllables this evening. It takes too long and I dislike counting. I feel anxious and poemless. So, I read poems, and poets writing about poetry. I just read this, from Edward Hirsch, in “Metaphor: The Poet is a Nightingale”
“As a reader, the hold of the poem over me can be almost embarrassing because it is so childlike, because I need it so much to give me access to my own interior realms. It plunges me into the depths (and poetry is the literature of depths) and gives a tremendous sense of another world growing within. (“There is another world and it is in this one,” Paul Éluard wrote.) I need the poem to enchant me, to shock me awake, to shift my waking consciousness and open the world to me, to open me up to the world—to the word—in a new way. I am pried open. The spiritual desire for poetry can be overwhelming, so much do I need it to experience and name my own perilous depths and vast spaces, my own well-being. And yet the work of art is beyond existential embarrassment. It is mute and plaintive in its calling out, its need for renewal. It needs a reader to possess it, to be possessed by it. Its very life depends upon it.”
Yup. That’s it, spot on. That is how I feel when I read, and what I want to do with a poem. But, it didn’t inspire any actual poemstuff. The only other thing I’ve got going on tonight is this:
I want to live in her voice. I could probably write a poem about that, maybe. Guess I’ve got to try, because it is better than nothing. I have dark chocolate supplies, you kind people, and the internet. Words on page, words on page, words on page.
Been thinking about place, the West, same old, same old, today. Another Sanders/Bonner poem it is.
Strange Blue Time
Hwy 200 between Noxon and Hope, the bright moonlight caroming off the Clark Fork, that lanky water map, that liquid sextant, with the wide and ropey veins, in the impregnable vehicle of older steel, windows down and Nina Simone, we live in her voice tonight, tell me more and then some, on the wind above the water, above the Heron bridge, two hundred feet up one lane and we’re talking about ghosts, the ones of those who jump, we go slower than the limit, and together miles pass, or is it years? Where did the car seats go? and where is did this cigarette come from? Past immemorial avocado kitchens and coliseums of corrugated steel that house old men of habit and fishing line, casserole in the air, and briefly, the sound of the same news squealing pighearted and deadening, we drive slow to hear them lie about Guantanamo, slow past the full up Cabinet Mountain bar where they take care of the child man Denny, he drinks shots of OJ and flirts with the women who curl their smoke upward to miss his eyes, the bartender with the blitzkreig tattoo is off tonight, slow across Lightening Creek taking back its name in the runoff and the compound with the hate flag and the go slow or die fast, turn up Nina to combat it, she would’ve loved this country, sure, and slow past the marsh, and I don’t tell you about the story of the black water, the girl who drowned with the senator as it comes to mind, but breath deep the warm efflux slow past through the orchard selling fill dirt, you haul, lazy the whole way the blue night a thief of color but it holds us in the absence, we could live in this blue, we could plunge the awful blue ache, oh, how we could dive beneath the white sheet glancing off the blue lake, what strange blue time is this? Can it hold us, can these miles last, maybe Hope is far in the distance, far from my hand, one is yours, one pressing against the night air in that child birdflight.
That took a long time, but I can see it. I can see it because I live here, though, so that doesn’t really count. anyhow. happy friday!