Friday, April 30, 2010

Poem # 30: The Distance

The distance from one side of me to the other
was too far to cross
so I stayed here, where the words are,
but no pictures
and not very many other folks
worth chatting up.

Food gets in somehow;
not much sex.
Water is everywhere
because the self is like an amniotic sea,
fortunately fresh
if a little rotten-eggy to the taste;

and all the light I need,
given how cozy it is here anyway
(just me and Shakespeare
in the front row,
and millions of Elvis Preseleys
in the back),

comes through the many, many cracks
caused by the pressure from outside.


Maybe not a bang-up conclusion to this month-long sojourn, but I kind of like my little (obvious) allegory. It's a bit exaggerated, at least as an actual study in my own alienation. I was reading a little-known poet named Hunt Hawkins, who published one book in the early nineties. It's an odd tome: a little like Cheever or Carver in its simple drawings of "The Domestic Life" (the book's title), but only if Cheever and Carver had never heard of Chekov. Sometimes the vignettes fall flat; sometimes the flatness is perfectly framed. Overall, though, there is a lack of tension -- which might have come from a different series of formal strategies, perhaps -- as in Larkin, for instance. But I like the book: possibly, I have yet to delve into it sufficiently to appreciate its charms. In any case, my little poem above most certainly came out as a response to reading Hawkins, though it is very different, and in now way (that I am aware) an answer to his style or sensibility. A spark -- merely a spark, and who knows where they come from?

Read, read, read; and don't be afraid to write, to fail. Let that be the main lesson (which I must have already known, but let go of) from this thirty-day marathon.

1 comment:

little wing writer said...

darn i keep getting kicked out unable to leave a comment... so i know i cant repeat what i just sed just to say i have enjoyed a door opening and reading your poems