Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Once a hobbledehoy

  and just as our way is flat across
  Dales and gulches, as though our train were a pencil

  Guided by a ruler held against a photomural of the Alps
  We both come to see distance as something unofficial
  And impersonal yet not without its curious justification

  Only the wait in stations is vague and
  Dimensionless, like oneself. How do they decide how much
  Time to spend in each? One begins to suspect there's no
  Rule or that it's applied haphazardly.

Right in the middle of a
stately, searching poem,
one will feel release to
laugh where the phrasing
or the tempo says, "OK."

Is this because, we know
a poem wants more of us,
and is a merry vengeance
part of what it expects?
I honestly happen to be-
lieve, thinking strictly
as a rower, such release
is the finer moment of a
blade's recurring sweep. 

In the assimilation of a
new work of sound, more-
over, it's irrepressible
to pursue its adaptation
to one's own conditions,
adventurously to own it, 
even as its autonomy re-
veals itself. Poetry has
it easy, and yet nothing
else can have it harder.

What one can envy in the
poet, is that he's where
we like to be, composing
invitations to his home.
That needs gorgeousness.

Ah, where is it, for me,
except inside a rule ap-
plied haphazardly?

  In the wearying and world-weary clouds of steam like great
  White apples, might I just through proximity and aping
  Of postures and attitudes communicate this concern of mine
  To them? That their jagged attitudes correspond to mine,

  That their beefing strikes answering silver bells within
  My own chest, and that I know, as they do, how the last
  Stop is the most anxious one of all, though it means
  Getting home at last, to the pleasures and dissatisfactions
    of home?

Houseboat Days
  Melodic Trains
op. cit.

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