Monday, March 30, 2015

poems for March 26

Literal, Littoral, Littleral by Danielle Pafunda
Error’s Refuge by Dorianne Laux
Facts about the Moon by Dorianne Laux
Words under the Words

A wonderful discussion as usual -- and unfortunately, I have mislaid the savvy comments of the group,so I will be reconstructing as best I can, but I'm sure missing some fine insights.

These four poems, all by women, explore connection in some feminine aspect, whether
as car (vehicle), moon mother loving her bad milky child, or wise grandmother who is not surprised by vagaries of life but listens for the layers beyond words which allow us to deal with "a world with a lot of rough edges".

Danielle Pafunda is a prolific poet and writer, who suffers from fibromyalgia and according to wiki, seeks to attract the reader to look at what brutalizes, horrifies, repulses. That aside, allowing the poem to speak for itself,
the title immediately intrigues us -- what is literal in it? the literal "littoral" as coast and cliff enters, and the "I" slips as a vehicle, hitched on a highway, and even the word "little" is hitched to the "ral" of Literal, Littoral.
The echo of the threesome, "dolefully, woefully, dutifully comes midway and pulls our attention to the high quantity of liquid sounds: blurred, yellow lines, no longer analogous... poorly to likely poorer, cliff, arrival, wheel, splendorous...
By throwing in "phenomenological" a little Husserl layers in with a sense of the transcendental and interconnected "own-ness" in a greater consciousness.

The temptation to draw analogies, associations with such a rich poem might indeed be part of a greater scheme weaving an invisible world (such as the Regency era gothic stories filled with ghouls) together with these three words, and an I wheeling down a coastal highway. The language is skillful, and successfully draws us in to wonder about this world, the function of the "body" that transports each of us.

The second poem, by Dorianne Laux I believe is forthcoming in her new book.
Although the title announces "Error's Refuge" this is a harder leap of faith to follow. We noted the use of one time, the suppositions about mistakes, whether implied atom bomb or B52 bombers -- and a cryptic tone such as "we did not invent dust" which leads us to a larger once and once upon a time. Intriguing.

Read with her poem, Facts about the Moon, with its long 27 line sentence at the end which pulls us in "with lunar strength, the brutal pull" of love, we found similarities of style with "Error's Refuse" in the set up to the overwhelming and irrefutable magnetic "love" of the moon for us, peopling her bad-child planet. A little cliché (What's a person to do?;) reference to a past darkness we have no word for. A little bitter and reproachful, (forget us)
rolled from our own selfish concerns to a larger view of the moon, "rolling alone in space" and yet, never abandoning us, no matter the hurt she sees us do.

We ended on the quiet wisdom of Sitti, the Palestinian grandmother, who recognizes by touch, who seems so quietly grounded in her world, there are no surprises, not even tragic loss, only a quiet reminder to look into the invisible layers of things.

What do you hear? What answer can you make to "words under the words" -- for that is what keeps us going as we face difficulties "with our pockets full of stones."

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