Tuesday, January 31, 2006

(letter to L___)

If I say that poetry
is an act of reading
as much as one of writing
or more
an act of deliberate attention
as much or more than of reading
an opening receptivity
sensing outward as much as
turning inward
more than, even
then when I say
that my attention
is a poem inscribed
directly onto your body
it sounds condescending
and maybe it is
but it's not a metaphor
not a picture of a flower
or the name of a flower
or the evocative aroma
of a flower
the idea of a flower opening
inside the idea of a flower
but an actual flower
a trembling
that describes nothing permanent
but an unfolding instant
of focused attention
you can be fully here today
and gone tomorrow
or you can have been gone
and arrive now
people do it all the time
but if a poem is a line
with a short visible length
and an infinite invisible length
then my attention
even when it turns toward
another opening opening
within another opening
unfolds you
opening and opening
like a looped tape
stuck key
car alarm
mobius strip
time-lasped flower
this might seem
an abstract consolation
and maybe it is
but if a poem is like a silence
(pure form of attention)
opening and opening inside itself
then if the silence creeps over me
think of it as a sort of gift
a package that opens and opens
never disclosing its contents
which don't matter anyway
because the poem
is in the opening
so if death
is a sort of extreme poetics
and silence a sort of death
we can open into
and out of at will
isn't this a tongueless bell
pealing soundlessly
and don't you open
and open in my hands
and even if the attention
is reciprocal
don't I sometimes
as the moon screams
through the blinds
manipulate you
like an origami swan
whispering
if this is a sort of violence
it's at least a reverent one
attentive and isn't it
less like control
and more like prayer?

2 Comments:

Blogger greg said...

dude. william carlos williams. this poem reminds me of him. i have this bathroom reader book - big, thick bitch of a tome - and there's an excerpt in there w/ an interview w/ WCW and the interviewer says, "your poetry reads like a grocery list." he replies, "who says a grocery list can't be poetry?"

keep on keeping on my friend

1:56 PM  
Anonymous other said...

For padfrt

Then I pray that reading
is an act of poetry
as much as that of waiting
or less
an act of degenerate attention
as much or more than of writing
a closing retroactivity
sensing backward as much as
mumble forward
less than, even
than when I pray
that my attrition
is a ghost inscribed
directly within your basement
it sounds condescending
and maybe it is
but it's not a garage
not a puncture or a pinch
nor the game of a study
nor the indicative trauma
of a hide-out
the bane of a bone marrow ringing
inside the caller of a color
but an actual beginning
a cold trill
that inscribes nothing permanent
but a broken instant
of unfocused attention
you can be foolish here tonight
and sage tomorrow
or you can have been there
arriving now
people do it all the time
but if a prayer is a line
with a deep invisible spool
and an infinitely sketched
breadth then my attention
even when it turns untoward
about another opening
within another opening
frightens you
closing and opening
like a circuit break
smoke stack
car door
compass rendered
tome-stamped forever
this might seem
accented consolation air
and maybe it is
but if a prayer is like feedback
(pure chaos of known causes)
struggling and straggling outside itself
and if the malaise settles below me
think of it as a sort of shifting
a wreckage that sifts and quakes
ever disclosing its contents
which are matter anyway
because the mold
is in the particle
so if life
falls afield of abstract blessings
and salience a sort of breath
we can slip into
and out of in walls
isn't this a tasteless ball
rolling soundlessly
why don't you pin down
and spin in my scrawl
and even if the intention
is aimed reclusive
don't you sometimes
as the mane shines
from the climb
surround me
like a sound semantic
withering
if this is a sort of writhing round
it's at least a rapacious one
augmentive and isn't it
less like detail
and more like poem?

7:34 PM  

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