April 25, 2016 § 11 Comments
note the syntax and nuance
the shady overtones
threatening to expose
your hiding places
take away anything that doesn’t bear critical weight.
strike the palms together and feel the beat
of letters shaping words, shaping musical notes
it’s not only what a word means
but what does it sound like?
consider this hyphen-
this em dash—
the way white space
and generates moments of suspension
sometimes, images talked to death
the beady eye of a whale
the wheels of an old Chevy
water split open
wind your way,
toward a unified purpose
drift into a riff
but when a poem goes off tangent so goes emotion
Ezra Pound said to go in fear of abstractions.
you can’t touch freedom
but you can touch a ripped American flag
and smell its bloody stripes
and hear a soldier weeping for his mother
“At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet,” said Neruda.
there is strength in not knowing
what the poem means
not pretending you understand
its source, its heat, its inherited tongue