I have been listening to a podcast on Terrance Hayes and Wallace Stevens.
I may write a poem in response or inspired by both as I struggled in my younger poetry to deal with the problematic influence of Wallace Stevens and the “politically questionable” inspiration of Ezra Pound. To love but not forgive is a maxim spreads out over all kinds of poetry, art, and politics I engage in.
In that regard, I have been writing several poems in a long chain. It’s called Eros, Errato, Erosion and it consists of three chains. I am always very hesitant to over-share my poetry on my blog as it removes it from other circulation. However, parts of the first chain have already been published at Former People.
Although you can hardly avoid it,
it’s hard to be human. Always slipping
in and out of the perpetual intermission
between lonely longing and the scum
at the bottom of the sink. You expect
that you will not die of grief as you sob
and masturbate, but nothing’s certain.
Your memory akin to blurred pixels,
or soil sorting into ever neater strata
of forgotten debris. You’re always
claiming the highroad as it washes
away: feetstuck in drying mud
and pressing downward, inward,
where lunch dates aren’t forgotten
and men can stare at sunflowers
without miasmas of useless hours.
Sitting in the park, black birds
Pick apart a flattened sparrow,
Tuffs of feathers tower out
Of the beginnings of visible
Bone. I can’t help but
Remember. This narrative Intrusion
Does not go unnoticed. Memory
Likes verse and birds acting oracle
To other dead birds. The move
Is obvious because memory
Fades like a firefly larvae
Growing fat on fruit on
Before the crab apples fall
To the ground. I am forgetting
The point but the birds continue
Eating. I think this poem is for
A woman who lives far away. Too
Far to be a one night stand, wayward
Flesh missed mostly in letters. I read
Somewhere that poetry was the remnant
Of courtship rites. We learned to speak
First to lie, then to forget, but we learned
To rhyme to remember, and share a bed
With another woman or man of the tribe.
That is what they say, but I don’t know:
The crows glutted and call to me:
They don’t want to share, just want
Me to know. They didn’t kill the sparrow
But ate it anyway. There are mountains
In the distance of the park, sitting like
Gossips in the Mexican dessert just beyond
The city. The peaks remind me of
Driving through Colorado but mountains
Are more dried from the sun here and
Stare more blankly in their bland.
There so much that runs together:
Like mixed soil: sand, silt, and rot.
To the woman, I hope she is sitting
Somewhere thinking about birds.
Thinking about past lovers, and
And the awkwardness of words.
Many the distance will erode like
Desert abrading the mountains.
To be beautiful is to learn
to fight with an open fist:
make-up is a war-paint.
Pecans darken in wet
fall grass,and we can
make out the ghosts
with dyed-red hair,
whose breath smelled
of bourbon. There is
no audience here, a love
of landscape moves beyond
her face. The countryside
wrinkles and unwrinkles
in the grasslands. Outside
renunciation, I am dregs
of absolute being. Ugliness
is skin deep, beauty is the
of delusion.Good geometry
can change your life: forever
joined, forever apart like a
nut split and the shell discarded.
In the end it rains men and women–
Unforsaken, insolent, naked.
Wet dreams about Mary Poppins
erupt and burst in boyhood, Julie
Andrews face guiding me to rituals
of dull caprice. The rest of this I hid:
you don’t understand. Comedic my
self-control: sometimes I say too much.
Let the is speak for itself: times when I
was with you, I was really not myself
but I didn’t want the truth, with each
new scenario, we kept the joking coming.
Chosen for and chosen by the elect
clamoring for some new heaven, erected
like cars rutting on summer asphalt. Between
the birthmark and the stain, you became
so many people. Mary Poppins sugared
spoons no longer have the erotic tinge:
you who you wish to control the pain,
the gout in your metaphors, the shattered
tooth leaving splinters. For unburdening,
I will not kneel and grotesque, I will undress
watching my hairs gray, shadowing the wounds.
We will not certify our pains: I have longed for
you, desire gone away. Feel the yammering
at the mouth, it is your turn beloved ghost,
there are emotions to be overwritten and songs
to be unsung. Another woman will sleep with me,
and probably another with you. I have said it
all, and wall between our past and our fading
abrades against the sand. But what a hope,
neither starved nor cold. The autumn cherry
blossoms fall in romantic decadence, we
deliberately muddy the imaging. The pollen
chokes the sky green and yellow, you pull another
gray hair out my stubble. In that moment, we touched
and in nothing could be said. Age, my mask,
it’s your turn. I hear Julie Andrew’s whispers.