O.P.P. #2 — Stanley’s Layers…

Day 2 of National Poetry Month.

As we just begin to dig and dive into….

The Layers

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.





O.P.P. [(Other Person’s Poems) for April] — #1, Ms. Edna…

So…..

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.
 





Three “Invisible String” poems (after Jim Moore)








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.



~




Who is laughing at Who.











       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.)