poetry as reality

we use poetry — we write stuff and say it’s poetry. this we do when we first blab out in music whatever words are laying around, whatever phrases we’ve heard the big kids say. we’re happy saying anything at all, being happy and making happy dumb sounds that sound like words. this when we’re kids… this until we find that structure in us which articulates into poetry. it’s like learning to actually lay the log over the stream instead of playing bridge.

prose-ac

prose writing depends on everybody knowing your words… beginner novelists think the dictionary is the most important book to own. mature novelists would ask, ‘which dictionary?’

poets invent words. make a verbal pointer/structure work in your poem and it’ll be added to the dictionaries. kids think they should only used words the people use, that their poem should be for everyone, but that’s because they’re sharing themselves at word-motel and it’s not really about the words at all. you’ve heard that, haven’t you? that it’s not about the words, it’s about the feelings? — and, the only real feelings in the room belong to them, the poet? and, ‘aren’t you listening to my words??’ goes along with, ‘it’s whatever you want it to mean’ and, ‘yes, being a poet, being special, means sometimes you can get away with bedroom hair’.

Quartet

[red ochre]

i don’t know,
but you’re like
the clarity
of water — beaker
of translucency,
transparent to the pines
and hills of my tuscan
vision: your renaissance eyes —
                        da vinci
                        figure in red
                        chalk — drawn
                        before he broke
                        the glass
                        of water.
like water,
you bend
the elements
of my vision —
                       two echos
                       off red river
                       walls…

                       or, so reality —
                       as i might
                       know reality;
red clarity of my
image of you
this sunset evening,
far from
where you talk
with friends,
the empty glass
upon your lips.

                               10.19.03

[cobalt blue]

far away from you,
there is a magic
moment of you
where i am two people…
your hand on my chest,
my heart,
your heart in mine.

far away from you,
in that moment
of being you,
when i’m no
longer gray
and cold
and only me,
i kiss you
kissing me,
see your eyes —
my sparkle blue
stripped
diamond pure
in scattered velocities
of crystal black —
i miss you so…
yet, never left you,
               never joined,
               our being ever only
               mine as mirror
               of a golden sky,
               minor universe,
               one half
               of night.

                                 10.25.03

[burnt umber]

you draw
the line in amber gold,
i draw pale green
around
your finger…
               faggot tracing
               of your memory…
               green for amber
               burnt
               in mirrors,
               umber browns,
               green vivid
                        blues and blood thin
                        amber,
                        red of summer
                        meadows.

i grab the earth,
hold the dirt
of grape and plankton
fossil tissue —
build a mound
of amber orange:
translucent tomb
decayed to umber
in the quiet dark.
              trace your name
              into the earth,
              i draw the art
              and love
              and umber-figured
              you were never
              there at all.

amber sparkles, in the dirt,
my faggot soul.

                                10.26.03

[chrome yellow]

all the edges
of sand
in shallow water,
earth’s ripple —
movement over waves —
have turned
to water.
             all is liquid
             and colored
             red ochre…

forest fires
blaze bright,
consuming
lesser motions;
all is fire,
casting color
on the pale
periphery of
ocean.
             water of life,
             water joining
             boy and girl —
             chrome ochre
             chest and arms
             claim precedence
             of love and yet
             is told as colored
             water:
             caustic yellow,
             chrome identity, boy
             and girl.

chrome yellow hair,
chrome wave
above the sea,
blue shadows.

                               10.26.03

got to be ok to have a place of your own, where your ideals ring whenever anyone hits you. ok to know that what you need to express can only be because there’s nothing else left.