Sandra Leigh of the fantastic blog, Amazing Voyages of the Turtle has come up with the excellent idea of Original Poetry Sunday, & as my contribution I'm posting the latest poem in the ongoing Ghazal series; as per the title, it was written yesterday, tho it received a rather extensive revision this morning.
Which leads me to the observation that a poem can seem to be technically polished—the "sounds" can seem right, the images can seem to be arresting—but if it's not "true" to itself, it remains "bad poetry." In the original version, the poem was much more "lush" & dream-like, but it really called for a more direct presentation. While technique is crucial, technique by itself can't redeem a poem that's untrue to itself. What this poem "wanted" to be about was a moment that passed between a friend & myself many years ago; in a sense that moment encapsulated much about our relationship—misunderstood "rejections" springing from self-consciousness & jealously guarded personae coupled with a tendency to "poeticize" events & to become trapped in imagined narratives. Such "imagined narratives" are perhaps an inherent danger of the poetic course I've pursued for the past 30 years & more. Of course, when we continue to cast events in a false light, that's when poetry becomes deception in the sense stated by various philosophers—when we cast events in the light of awareness, that's when poetry can, I believe, be part of healing. This all has been part of an ongoing argument with myself about poetry for more than 20 years.
On a lighter note, I've been thrilled to see all the poems being written in the blogging community I feel a part of, & I think Sandra's Original Poetry Sunday will not only highlight this, but also inspire others to try their hand as well.
I hope you enjoy this & all the other Original Poetry Sunday posts.
waxing crescent afloat within a white nimbus—
nothing’s distinct—a tremoloed note on a
mandolin & the willow limbs’ gray resignation—an-
other night amongst visitations convinced I’m really there—
a Virginia cottage house on a street “that
really went no place”—a silence with eyes singing
hysterically & I said Let’s dance taking her hand &
she turned aside— another visitation across pages
of poems singing You must change your life—
a walk thru muttering streets thru a white fog—I
keep writing the same poem for how many
nights & years & mornings a streetlight’s white
nimbus beyond an electric typewriter’s midnight hum in a
Virginia cottage house—a tremoloed mandolin a hysterical
silence becoming a blurry nimbus the weeks & years
& hours of the same poem repeated a
visitation becoming dawn’s twilight a
tremolo on a mandolin this whitening morning