Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Three Favorite Poems From Three Books I've Read Recently

From Repair by C.K. Williams, "Archetypes," for it's lovely (as Williams does so well in this book) use of the image as the track, the path, the road to navigate around human relationships and a sense of understanding our experience

From Jab by Mark Halliday, "Head Wound," for proving a poem about poetry doesn't have to be stuffy or boring, but can talk its way to the core of a life and shine from within (first and last stanza below):

On the day that my life span matched my mother's life span,
on the day when I had come to live as long as my mother lived--
she died in 1975, of cancer, three days after her fifty-second birthday--
on the day when I had lived as many days as she got to live
(though for her there were hundreds and hundreds of days of
miserable pain, which has not at all been my fate)--
on that day
I went to the gym to play basketball with some friends
Driving to the Emergency Rom I had seven thoughts:
1. It's a reminder.
2. It's a warning.
3. Let's not get carried away.
4. No wonder it is necessary and has always been necessary
to read poems and write the, to read novels and write them,
because the world is this enormous haunted cavern or enchanted gymnasium
filled, too filled with symbolic meanings ready at any moment
to spring forth like goblins and make anything significant.
5. I'm lucky, she wasn't lucky;
she wasn't lucky, I'm lucky, it doesn't mean
6. But even if it doesn't, I can still say
her bad luck was bad;
7. And if that's true, doesn't it follow
that my good luck is good?

From The New Year of Yellow by Matthew Lippman, "And Everywhere It's Florida," where Lippmann makes you listen, an odd charm he has, and you're not concerned with truth/falsity, but with the poem, that moment where you're finally listening:

What I did, I lied.
I lied about the Cremora Food Truck hijacked,
brought to Boston, blown up,
just to get all that white powder up in the air,
just to get all the kids to listen;

I lied about the money and the hungry zookeeper
who killed two giraffes with a bullhorn then wheeled out the Hibachi.

I lied about living rooms on fire
and dead cowboys on my lawn
who rode clean out of thin air
before I shot 'em with my six shooter,
cried Geronimo,
broke down in hives
and got lost in the Hollywood tumbleweed.
All my life it's been helicopter blades in my spine;
all my life I've lied.

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