Why I love poetry...

... in 153 words or less.

I love poetry because it's the best approximation of the way I think, only prettier. Reading poetry (especially out loud) is like feeling my soul, physically, breathing.

I love poetry because it gives me the choice to capitalize or not, and it doesn't care which I choose.

I love poetry because it extends from me naturally; writing poetry feels like doing something I was created to do, in a very specific sense. There is diversity and simultaneous like-mindedness among poets that feels very much what I think community in Eden would have felt like - what community in Heaven will feel like.

I love poetry because, like all art forms, it encapsulates so many other forms.

I love poetry because it best approximates one of life’s supreme desires: the acquisition and conveyance of Truth.

I love poetry because one hundred fifty-three words could never describe what it means to me.

I love poetry.



A Poem Fragment Written in a Moment of Weakness

or, "Listening to Kashmir. Monday."

Let the sun beat down upon my face,
And stars to fill my dreams
Where women walk who I've not seen
Much, though I known each face
Quite clear.

The LORD be my helper and my guide
Into the evening hours, as skies darken
And lights come on and beggars harken
To their nightly dwelling place to hide
In fear.



from VP's journal

on this day, year unknown (his entries were never dated by the year):

Last night I dreamt she took my hand and led me along the rocky bed of a dried-up stream. It was the third time this dream visited me this week.

Elsewhere, the Winter has settled in nicely, and already the warmth of Spring and Summer are dangling before my senses. I awoke this morning to stiff-cold fingers and toes and my heavy blanket was not consolation enough: the frozen air welcomed me, embracing me whole, and it has yet to let me go. Sooner than Spring, my blankets will be the reward I chase this day.




straighten, re-straighten
the Post-its on my desk
again and again, again&again
who could still sit still?
i don't know what i would
but what i will is not my own.

i label and re-label myself
again&again, again and again
rotten with perfection, indeed.

the earth's hot breath
has frozen on its beard;
another year of life has met its death.

quietly, now, the sun rises
as one still drugged from
yesterday's colonoscopy,
stays hidden behind the clouds
,gives little warmth.
still i leave my home
and pray for rain or snow or asteroids.

rain and snow, i know, and even asteroids
will take me&my small i seriously,
as seriously as your compensating capital lIes.
and anyway, the rain falls on the fools
and anyway, the rain falls on the wise.



A weary Sky

A weary sky descends
Into the horizon;
Distance drinks up the blue.
The sharp lines of buildings
In a business park
Suffocate the treetops,
And evergreens are dwarfed
By skeletal, leafless branches.

When there is no rest,
Rest waking
Sleep walking
Dream working...

Down and down
Rain falling on rain
On falling on Christmas Eve,
Even here. Say first what cause
her to tears
Moved him to beers
Moved them into each others' arms.

The color drains until the sky
Is all but pale; the clouds expand
Beyond my view, into tomorrow and again.
The evergreens (those to the other side),
Roped off by power lines
Stand stoic, en masse.
Subarus, Toyotas, goddamn Hummers
Pass and pass, on driving on driving
Home or back to work,
Perhaps to see that woman
Again, and again
The sky is blueing, Soaking into the pale.
Shadows fall over steel, stone & glass.
Perhaps the end is near;
Perhaps the end has passed.



thinking out loud in logical extremes


the sloppiness continues

my last post included the following statement:

"art as a reflection of life should, i think, include the masses as equals; poets are no more human than their brethren."

which elicited the following response:

"a few nights ago, my brother boldly stated that his mind is significantly more active than most people's minds. i don't know about [my brother] (though he's probably right), but would this not be true of good artists? the work of an artist is a function of his or her long, reflective gazes at the world and its happenings, and deep thoughts. for working towards unveiling truths, comprehending the intricacy and depth of human existence, and ascending to a higher perspective, shouldn't the artist enjoy an elevated status above the masses? there is undoubtedly a sharp contrast between the mind of a good artist and that of an ordinary person who is probably dulled and distracted by, among many other things, television and video games. i don't believe this devalues the perspecive [sic] and range of human emotion, from pain and suffering to pleasure and joy, of the ordinary person--a good artist possesses acuity in this regard. experiencing life is one thing, but communicating the experience is another."

first off, thanks for calling me out on this one, j. second, let me clarify, because, while my comments were not quite on the mark, i don't think my idea misses entirely. allow me some rambling:

while i am not suggesting that ordinary people (read: those other than poets, writers, thinkers, etc.) should be viewed as having similar powers of insight into the world that surrounds them, there is still something rather askew in the accepted writer/reader relationship. granted, communicating unique and deep insights is not a skill possessed by many. indeed, the common man should rarely attempt it, and only with supervision. but i am recently gripped by this question: to whom is directed the insight to which writers are privy? the audience must certainly be more than writers and their intellectual ilk (lest intellectual masturbation be the only goal); the common man is implied as a member of the audience. the question morphs, then, becoming more subtle: the common man, as audience member, while not gifted with vast perceptive powers, is at least in possession of certain receptive abilities. that is, when insights of unusual depth are presented to him (the common man), he is capable of understanding, if not the intricacy contained within them, at least the fact that delicate intricacies are present and at work, and should be able to, if he tries, glean something useful for himself. that is the connect between the two groups, writers and commoners. such a connection seems to me to be akin to a sexual relationship, both consensual and mutually beneficial. neither party should be considered lesser than the other, merely differently-abled and hardwired to fill different roles.

though my language above belies my intention, here is the thrust of my thinking: it is not wholly appropriate, at if one desires consistency within our absurdly egalitarian cultural mindset, to discuss the two groups in terms of class. it would make more sense to think of the Gospel shepherd who loved each of his sheep equally, caring for them tenderly and leading them to nourishment, himself gaining from the relationship (wool to sell/wear, meat to sell/eat). similarly, the writer/reader relationship might be better seen as symbiotic than parasitic. certainly one organism appears stronger than the other, but both are nourished.

ah, but i have not addressed my assertion that, in order to be truly egalitarian, while the common man should by no means dictate the direction of the arts, he should yet be an equal in some sense. that is because i do not know how this would work. perhaps because in literature, the separation should be more pronounced, giving a kind of equal-but-separate feeling to the relationship between writer and reader (i almost don't want to use that phrase, reversed though it is from its original form, but it is the best i can find).

perhaps one group is stronger than the other, perhaps one group is more fit to lead than the other. perhaps not. bear in mind that i do not necessarily agree with everything i've just written. rather, my aim is exploring something closer to the logical extreme of the culture in which i find myself.

coincidentally, i think a certain class-laden division is implied in the categories/definitions of writers/readers. as emerson put it,

"Yet, in our experience, the rays or appulses have sufficient force to arrive at the senses, but not enough to reach the quick, and compel the reproduction of themselves in speech. The poet is the person in whom these powers are in balance, the man without impediment, who sees and handles that which others dream of, traverses the whole scale of experience, and is representative of man, in virtue of being the largest power to receive and to impart." (Essays and English Traits, X. The Poet, paragraph 3)

i should point out, too, that i realize no one is saying our culture is truly egalitarian. people do seem to think, however, that it would be a good way to be. i disagree. so long as sin infects the world, so long as people are not all on the same page, so to speak, we are forced into a strange game of twister, trying to create equality in certain areas (to appease the common man, of course, for it is from the common that the elite derive power) while retaining iron-clad control in others. it is foolishness, and it is why i enjoy exploring logical extremes (or things resembling such extremes, anyway).



what feelings?

my feelings, that's what. though publication would/will be nice... sigh.

this is a lovely statement (found at this post): "'Twould be nice (or interesting, I guess, if not nice) if poetry had a large enough readership to justify critics who aren't also actively publishing poets."

indeed. too, it would be nice if poets (all artists) came off more comfortable with the strength of their work, to the point that non-poets (read: laypeople, the everyman) felt free to read, criticize, and see their input valued by means of new production. not that the masses should completely dictate the direction of the arts, but art as a reflection of life should, i think, include the masses as equals; poets are no more human than their bretheren.

too, i should point out that my thoughts above are not directly derivative of the lovely statement from pshares. they are not. that's just where my mind went. coincidentally, i think my artistic purpose is just around the corner of discovery. stay tuned (but don't hold your breath).