Monday, October 26, 2015

a few simple things


  1. your poet tries, i think, to be unsentimental. ironic, i understand, because it is a exactly a sentimental theatre from which he speaks. and so his rather cold observations are bracketed in the end with the declaration, "It will hurt." i hadn't realized this the first few readings because i was so easily seduced by the difficult but apt and powerful lines, "The trees rust and bleed,/which is a luxury." by itself these two lines are the most challenging, and worthy of meditation.

    and i don't mean this lightly, as i know you (the poet) don't. The trees rust and bleed! and this is a luxury!!! i am so moved by this. so pulverized. there is such a reckoning to take place here. and it could be missed. is missed. life after life after life. we miss this. rust and blood are the excruciating source of value.

    i hope anyone who might read this is not fooled by its quietness.

  2. i must have come back to this poem a dozen times by now (and of course, the photo, in its simplicity - but also: pose, gesture, intention to express - as it is not simply a leaf in its natural context, but a framed leaf within the more general frame which is each photograph - and this also speaks of "theater" and our endless need of symbolizing) - i think it is one of my favourite ones, it is a devastatingly good poem, James. i see a connection to W. Stevens here, i think only he could have written like this, with the same depth and power of contemplation and condensation... i am thinking of this poem, for ex:

    i see a similarity, the same movement of the spirit towards richness in poverty and quiet acceptance ... a revelation of what we are, when all our ornaments are stripped away...