Monday, February 18, 2013

Dear Night

Dear Night,

Thank you for the crows, Day borrowed them
for a very long time, and I want you to know
(as the crows certainly know)

that their flight, their calls to each other
from the tip-tops of sidestreet maples,
the way they rejoice

in opened flesh: a deer
at the edge of the road,
these things should be happening

at night, dear Night, your
time, your place.
And so dear night let’s broker a deal:

We will give you back the crows.
We will include the sawbox containing
their voices, and return them

to the realm of underbrush rustle,
a rabbit’s shriek,
a coyote’s bark.

All we ask for in exchange
are bonfires,
those midnight bursts

of morning, and later
we can discuss the true
home range of the moon.

(From a manuscript in progress, called, for now, "69 Letters I'd Been Meaning to Write.")

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Love the Part in Aaron's Smith's New Book of Poetry

I love the part in Aaron Smith's new book Appetites called "I Love the Part," a long list poem indebted to Joe Brainard and David Trinidad, and the spirit of Frank O'Hara. It's an homage to movies, popular culture, to the gods and goddesses of cinema and how much we desire them. I can imagine, years in the future,  creative writing instructors all over the country assigning their students to write "I love the part" poems about the movies they love, just as we now assign "I remember" poems based on Joe Brainard's book of that name.

For the record, I just rented "Looper," and I love the part where Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis sit across from each other in an otherwise empty diner.  They are each playing the same man--30 years apart. Willis has been sent back to the past to be killed by an assassin, who is in the case himself, the younger version played by Gordon-Levitt. I wanted them to hug or something, but each despises the other, as we often despise our younger or older selves.

Click on this link for another poem from Appetites.  And click here for a brief but stirring defense and cheer for the power of personal narrative in poetry from Mr. Smith.