Friday, September 25, 2015

poems for September 23

Life is Beautiful by Dorianne Laux
Embedding the Cancer Port by Robert King
Veterans Day, 2014 by Jared Harel
Days of Heaven by Carl Dennis
RAS Syndrome by Adam Fitzgerald

Life IS beautiful... and Dorianne Laux reminds us how. "Life is beautiful...
and remote, and useful,"
but stop for a minute to think how these three adjectives work. The effiency of flies, which we wish remote, the whole process of waste and maggots,which normally we do not view as part of "beauty"... Reading outloud, how can you not love the wording... the g’s...verb choices...
Indeed, when you don’t have a ton of people, you see each individual as an individual....
We want flies and worms and garbage remote... and perhaps shun how they might be useful, miss the beauty...
These lines capture the sound and pulse of what lies outside and inside of us:
"hear the dull thrum of generation's industry,
feel its fleshly wheel churn the fire inside us."
Indeed, "We are gorged, engorging, and gorgeous." the first two adjectives so visceral, and leading us to a throaty exclamation of beautiful.

The next poem draws a metaphor of a cancer port to the commerce and trade of a harbor, the balancing act of positives and negatives, exotic goods associated with trade routes and antiquity, and contemporary scientific terms for chemo; line breaks sail like ships
"the narrow street can reach the marketplace
of the aorta, receptive to any

incoming ship," ...
with the first period coming at the end of the 3rd stanza.

Don explained the port to us, and the delicate balance of the chemo so this sentence echoed with real fact --

"I carry it secretly under my skin
because it is easier."

The final sentence weaves lightly through 7 lines provoking a sense of mystery of what we well as the sense of what it is like watching a port inside of you, bringing its "goods and evils".

Veterans Day, which won the Stanley Kunitz prize captures a ragged feel to mood swings and contradiction. The broken lines, repetitions, jarring juxtapositions, sports language enthusiasm applied like PDQ Bach’s mock sportscast of Beethoven’s 5th, clearly had an almost bipolar sense of thoughts/counter thoughts. The shock of watching a beheading on the news, then doing crunches on a clown-nose-red exercise ball, the ironic "never before had I felt
so damaged, so lucky" which packs in survival at a cost... the stray wallet, could be the stray bullet... the happenstance of accident, luck of the game, whether baseball or war.

The Carl Dennis poem is a marvelous look at Gods and Humans, and how really, it might be good if we finally "got over ourselves". Days of Heaven, of course, applied to humans could get us into trouble, especially when the Gods cease to be immortal, and mirror back our inescapable headstrong will, quick anger, slowness to forgive. He plays with the metaphor in a humorous way:

Every death means a divine occasion
Has been taken from us, a divine perspective,

and certainly turns the vocabulary that could adopt a sacred tone into a tongue-in-check look, where the breeze ruffles our divinity and creates a halo of cloud... I love that brother sun sets at the end of the poem, "Undarkened by accusation or disappointment
Or the thought of something he’s left undone."

The final poem was fun in a much lighter manner. RAS means (short for "redundant acronym syndrome syndrome") refers to the use of one or more of the words that make up an acronym or initialism.

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