Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28

The Oxymoron Sisters by Tom Lux
Snowflakes by Jennifer Grotz
Sundials by Jennifer Grotz
In the Congaree by Samuel Amadon
Cattail History by Noah Warren
They Accuse Me of Not Talking by Hayden Carruth
The Birth of Superstition by Lynn Pedersen

Thomas Lux describes contemporary American poetry as “Burgeoning, chaotic, many, many good poets, a growing cultural profile, a healthy, squawking, boisterous, fractious, inclusive, tradition and (true) innovation marrying or colliding.”

Simultaneous with this, I think of the podcast I heard about "fact-checking poetry"...
how fact does matter, with or without intent of the poet...

Oxymorons... One astute reader quoted Lux as saying: "“I like to make the reader laugh and then steal that laugh right out of his throat."
tragedy right next to humor...
He achieves this with his poem -- replete with wonderful sounds.

Acetylene to snowflakes, and a composite hodgepodge of denticulate dandelion and patter of t's
felt a bit affected. Sundials then measured with the feel that these two poems told rather than showed,
with a preference for Sundials which created visual images of roundness.

The poem commissioned by the Academy of American Poets and funded by a National Endowment for the Arts Imagine Your Parks grant also left us a bit cold. Why this?
By then, the group was ill-disposed to workshop Warren's poem.

They Accuse Me of Not Talking is a curious title and we enjoyed delving into the poem. North/South...
"To which love can you speak
the words that mean dying and going insane
and the relentless futility of the real?"

Here we gather faithfully week after week... and at this point I felt I had gathered poems which didn't do justice to the group -- but could resurrect a sense of order with these lines.

What do poems do? If we only read poems, would that be enough to confront the futility of the real?

Ending with a poem addressing the birth of superstition... the lack of certitude, understanding, fact...

Logic is my son’s kite, good so long as you have
wind, string,
something heavier than hope

to tether you.

It felt like a discussion of kites in the wind... different people offering their logic...
not needing hope to be heavy, but simply enjoying the challenge of tethering meaning as we could
in a convivial group.

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