why blog? (and some poems)

One of the main reasons I started writing poetry, was because I would always think of the perfect thing to say ten minutes or more too late. But saying it anyway is a wonderful way to stop conversations, people look at me, then at each other and start wandering away. My quip about getting revenge on annoying kids on an airplane didn’t go over very well in the middle of the conversation on school shootings… Anyway, thats why I started writing things down, and then they sort of mutated into poetry.

But sometimes I have things rattling around my skull for months or years before they get written down. It’s like a rock polisher in there, all the stuff just bounces around and around until all the excess is smoothed away and all thats left is a perfect poem. A perfect but brittle poem, if I wait too long to write it, it sort of crumbles away and all I’m left with as a vague impression of convoluted ideas, and the whole process has to start over again.

And thats what blogs are for! You know if I am in the shower and I have shampoo stinging my eyes and suddenly a perfect poem manifests itself to me, I could run out and write it down. Just grab my bath robe, the lacy frilly one that is completely transparent when its soaking wet, and run out bouncing from wall to wall cause of the shampoo still mostly blinding me, find my way to my room dripping wet, squeeze my hair somewhat dryer on my bedspread, grab my notebook and pen, head out to the living room for better lighting and drop to the floor wiping my hands dry on the carpet, flip through to a dry enough page and write my poem down as quickly as I can. Then notice the nice breeze and the beautiful day out of all the open windows, and the silent missionaries my dad invited in for a chat, and as I stand up to be polite and say hi, my foot catches on the robe and pulls it off completely and all I can think about is that I haven’t shaved in three or four days and I’m all prickly.

Although that is an excellent and maybe the perfect first impression to make on missionaries, we do have a mildew problem here, and I can’t see justifying getting that much water soaked into the carpet. So sometimes I have to skip the poem and later write some sort of rambling brainstorming repetitive inane blog post trying to remember the essential something about a wonderful poem that seems to be gone forever and has morphed into some sort of gerrymandering viral unstoppable and remorseless prose.

And thats why I blog. Or part of it anyway.

I’ve also been reading James Tate’s Memoir of the Hawk. And now I’m really trying to unread it. And now I’m shocked to discover that ‘unread’ is actually a word… Anyway, I’ve written a whole slew of Tate style surrealist prose poems, nineteen of them ganged up on me yesterday and demanded to be written. Some of them are kind of good. I’m not usually that prolific either. And since my haiku have mostly been sucking, I’ll include some Tate type poems below.

the wandering muse strikes again with an unfortunate paradox containing too much tuna

Snodgrass
was the type of man
who suddenly exploded
into burning bits of ash and sulphur
without even emailing anyone.

He only did it once
but everyone knew
he was that type.

So we avoided him.

It took us two years
to figure out he was dead.
And another six months
to realize we had a volcano problem.

We called the volcano exterminator
and he said its not unusual,
volcanoes are sneaky,

and some people
are just like that.

panacea meets pangolin

I was aching all over
and decided I must be sick
but I didn’t want to be sick.
So I found a doctor to tell me
I’m a moron and he’s a doctor
and only he could tell me
whether I was sick or not.
Turns out I was.
So I thanked him
and took the needles out of my shirt
and felt much better.

extra wide load

“I wonder,” said Zeke,
“Which is harder,
photographing a wild rhinoceros
or a domestic rhinoceros?”

Zeke never got into the good schools.

“There is no domestic rhinoceros,” I said.

“Then we shall have to build one
using toothpicks and snail powder.

For if we do not,
who will?

And if we do not even try,
how will the world ever know
if we succeed or fail?”

I thought about it a moment.
This was by far
the most intelligent thing Zeke had ever said.

“I’ll get the toothpicks,”
I said.

the reclusive wild onion

He keeps waiting
for nothing to happen.

Its happening all the time, we say.

But he says, no,
that’s not nothing enough.

So he keeps waiting.

And all of us wait with him
thinking
that with this much waiting going on,

something
is bound to happen.

the end of every world is only the beginning of tomorrow

How many rabbits live in the good magician’s hair?

Does he grow carrots behind his ears?

I asked these questions of my third grade teacher.
She told me that I’m almost forty and need to stop stalking her.

I took that to mean yes about the carrots
and three rabbits.

the physics of mutual moralizing

If a tree fell
and then stopped falling in mid-air
would you love me?

When I asked that of Lorraine
she slapped me
then kissed me
then wiped her wings on her sleeve
and flew away

without making a sound.

it’s a free country
but everyone is too scared to have an opinion

There were bats in Parker’s belfrie.

A whole lot of them
echoing back and forth
sending secret messages
in bat-Morris code.

It had to be stopped.

Parker thought that they were talking about him.
And the last time parker thought that bats were talking about him,
he got married.

We couldn’t let him do that again.

He and Serena were happy.
Besides,
Serena is really lucky to have Parker,
she’s such a gorgeous little blood-sucker.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael McBreen

    I absolutely love this!!! You have inspired me to start a blog as well!!! I LOVE YOU!

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