Friday, November 14, 2008

One from me, and one from he ...

The Cul-de-sac

This calm evening,
wind is barely breathing,
leafless trees standing firm,
bark bones slicked by mist,
street lamps playing
in long comet dot smears
on the black satin drives,
everyone warm inside.

One of my earlier poetic posts this week was very cold within, so this one is a bit warmer, don't you think, despite the fact that it is very cold and rainy/sleety without.

The weather of late has me channeling T.S. Eliot, which made me think of this poem last night:

The Winter Evening Settles Down

The winter evening settles down
with smells of steaks in passageways.
Six o'clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
the grimy scrapsof withered leaves about your feet
and newspapers from vacant lots:
the showers beat
on broken blinds and chimney-pots,
and at the corner of the street
a lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.

And then the lighting of the lamps.

... Last night, driving out for more caffeine due to more work yet at the desk, I had just finished my piece and re-read Elliot's piece.

I'm anal that way. One thought leads to another, and I couldn't just get up from the desk after my piece was written, up and out of me, because my brain was going, Wait, uummmm, that poem by Elliot, the one Professor Bozo made us discuss TO DEATH!!!!!!! in his lit. intro. class several semesters ago. The class I took for "fun" because of its poetry component, and then he made us discuss poems to such a point, that I wanted to stick pins in my eyes and never write or read a poem again! The poem that so speaks to the winter season pending in the heart!!! That poem, where is it?!?!?!? Damn it, what's the title?!?!?!

And then I, and my fucked up brain, get up and I go right to the exact bookshelf (even though it's been moved AND rearranged over the weekend), where there rides the big fat Lit. text, where I can just about "see" the poem on the page, and I flip right to it (making a note to order a collection of Elliot from Amazon, because I don't seem to have one), and I plop back down in my chair, and I'm in rapture, for the short time I take to relive the poem, the steaming and stomp, stomp warm breathing of the horses, the lighting of the lamps .....

... and then I go out, and drive through the misty black night in the small village I live in. Yeah, village. I love that term, and I do in fact live in a "village" as opposed to a "town" or a "city," by zoning and such, and I'm probably the only one in this town ... ooops village, that gets a kick out of that wording, because for me, nothing is ever simple and words rock long and hard into each and every night, dancing till dawn!

Anyways .... driving the rain-slick streets, two days' past garbage pickup day, I see things that make me want to write a parody poem on my own work, and the work by Elliot. I wanted to put in it all the unique things that are still sitting curbside that the garbage man did not take ... a broken chair, a Little Tykes picnic table, the unfortunate pile of now wet and soggy moving boxes that were not properly flattened/cut/bound for pickup, a footstool, etc. and the streets are littered here and there with chunks of broken pumpkin heads, poor things, where is the vinegar and brown paper when you need it?!?!?!

Absolute crazy BLISS, as I rock and roll through the quiet darkened streets, get my coffee, and go back to my warm office downstairs, where I can hear the thump of the surround-sound on the big screen upstairs, where my daughter is watching "Sweeney Todd" for the second or third time this week, and still NOT CLEANING HER ROOM, and the dog is snuggled in a warm furry pile on her lap, so glad that she's not cleaning her room, and so am I!!!! ... I mean, it's "Sweeney Todd," for crying and loving out loud!

And I smile for a long while ...


Dave said...

very good one..
Here in NJ it up to 60 degrees and foggy I wonder what powems you would use for that.
You should write a book :o)

Anne Cunningham said...

It's nice to hear what the weather is like in New Jersey. I have a medical account for Bridgeton and South Jersey Hospital (my one and only med account these days) and I only hear about the physical and psychological weather conditions to which everyone is always in with the chief complaints of "not taking my meds," "feeling a little crazy," "threatend my girlfriend," "short of breath," "bloody diarrhea," and everyone's favorite ... drum roll please ... "coffee ground" emesis ... which by the time you get to that point, the death rattle is not far behind. So 60 degrees and fog, actually sounds nice! :)

Bobby said...

Hi Anne! Thank you so much for visiting me:)

I love your poetry. I studied poetry in college, but my teachers were horrible and sucked the life out of me. One teacher was so hell bent on teaching me why my expressions sucked and his view was one of perfection - I almost quit writing it altogether. Luckily, I didn't listen to him!

It's actually quite nice here on the Mississippi gulf coast - slightly cool and crisp:)

Anne Cunningham said...

Good to see you here, Bobby. I was just at your place (so to speak ... and not to start any blogdom rumors). :)

I was reading your piece on how to blog, and I like the aspect of "putting time into it" which I sorely want to do since starting this blog. (thank you candy!!!!!)

I used to "network" a lot on the internet when the whole thing started, first with bulletin boards, and later on writing sites, the first being Themestream, and I absolutely loved it, especially since working from home most of my life already was online.

But in past years, I've balked ... I kind of have web presence and then when I know I could really feed off of it and/or increase where it reaches and what might reach me back, I freeze up and procrastinate and don't make real use.

(until now ... thanks again candy!)

So, I'm looking forward to opening up a bit more again, which undoubtly could have all kinds of positive effects on me personally and at some odd points others might get something out of it too.

And I can totally relate to a professor or mentor destroying poetry for you. It didn't happen to me until I was 45, when I took the dreaded intro to lit class thinking that it would feed my soul and heart of hearts.

Even now, if I grab up my notebooks from that class there are jagged lightening bolts and scrawled words like "kill me now!" while the professor was talking.

He was deeply into understanding and interpreting poetry by looking at the author's background. Like, Plath was pregnant when she wrote this and later lost the baby, and so and so hated their father, and this guy drank too much, and Frost might have been the most depressed man on earth ... etc. etc.

All of that was fine and well, except sometimes, and I know this, and probably you do too ... sometimes you write something and you are not sure why or where it comes from, and okay, yeah, it might have everything and every other thing to do with you, but sometimes (like in my latest poem) you might just want to get a turn of phrase out of your head.

In my second to last piece, the words "in shadow, in estrangement" kept popping up in my head all day and I just had to get it out of there. And that led to the companion piece as well.

Our professor didn't believe in that kind of rot, and he would more than likely take my two latest poems, my past history and have one fuck of a hayday explaining why I write the way I do or don't ... in some cases, he would have been right, and in some cases he would be blocking an interpretation that was in there (that I didn't even know about!) because of the preconceived notion that, "Well, Anne was obviously having anothe bad day!"

Okay, as if?!?! There really is so much more.