the depth some dogs bring, lying at your feet—it means more than these words can
Day 2 of National Poetry Month.
As we just begin to dig and dive into….
The Layers by Stanley Kunitz I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me. In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: "Live in the layers, not on the litter." Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.
Here we are. It’s April again. The Cruelest Month. Some months (and some Aprils) are crueler than others, apparently…
In order to
punish myself push myself, I have decided this year to embark on another crazy (unofficial) NaPoWriMo/NaPoREADMo (National Poetry Writing Month/National Poetry Reading Month) scheme. Only this year I’m crazy doubling down. I shall endeavor to not only write finish and post one poem per day on this here bloggo, but also to read said poem (ahem) aloud and post the sounds here so that you may understand how lucky you are that you don’t live with me enjoy the mellifluous tones of my deep baritone tenor (mezzo-soprano, maybe) voice.
On top of that (does this make it tripling down?) I am also going to be posting and reading aloud one poem per day by various persons (them afore-mentioned “Other Persons”) who will no doubt make my work look like doggy drool.
Anyway, it’s something to do. And hopefully something that someone out there (other than my wife–oh, wait, never mind–she’s in here with me) will enjoy. So. Here we go…..
(Erm…my bit will come a bit later. It is a night poem, so I shall wait for night to read it…..)
O.P.P. #1, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s rather cheeky (and perhaps ever-so-slightly dark?) take on the current season…..
Spring To what purpose, April, do you return again? Beauty is not enough. You can no longer quiet me with the redness Of little leaves opening stickily. I know what I know. The sun is hot on my neck as I observe The spikes of the crocus. The smell of the earth is good. It is apparent that there is no death. But what does that signify? Not only under ground are the brains of men Eaten by maggots. Life in itself is nothing. An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs. It is not enough that yearly, down this hill, April Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
I do not like polishing the tea pots. My face, already grotesque, reflected, distorted even more in their surface. ~ I have nine books borrowed from the library. Still, I am reading the one new book of poems I found at the thrift store. ~ We don’t know the length, the breadth, the width, the height, and certainly not the depth of our unknowing. ~
What does it mean when a meaning-making monkey says the universe is meaningless and another meaning-making monkey writes about what the first monkey is saying? It means there are two monkeys dancing and neither one of us knows the steps. (Image from Sun Xun's 3D animated film of scanned, inked woodblocks, Time Spy.)