19 sept. 2011

Broken Symmetries (After MP 3)

Church bells announce a fire in the photo lab.
"Cultural Studies" is soon there with his buckets.

"Egg Roll" watches from the sidelines.
"Weather-Beaten Skeleton" can do nothing.

Do you want a piece of me?
Have you read Stones of Venice?

The stones appear there as themselves.
Those rains brought these muds.

Your tone is excessive, they said.
But it was what I was saying they hated.

They didn't like my insistence.
They didn't like me.

Those over-cautious bells, afraid to ring out the changes.
Or was it a problem with the entire system?


I admire the poetry of Michael Palmer very much, but it is not the kind of poetry I would write. I like more humor, more spoken language, and more directness. What I do in these poems, then, is to erase his and write mine on top of them, leaving nothing of the original except for a few "trace" words. I couldn't do this with a poet whose poems I would want to write, nor with a poet who holds no attraction for me at all. For some reason I cannot write out of myself, only in reaction to something already there. I fear the explanation is otiose, because if it is more interesting than the poem, it sinks it right there, but if it is less interesting, who needs it?

4 comentarios:

Clarissa dijo...

I've never been able to get past TS Elliot and Seamus Heaney in English-language poetry. I love them both passionately, but with anybody who came after them I'm hopeless.

Jonathan dijo...

Heaney is still alive so nobody really comes "after" him. You are missing out on a lot of poetry, but maybe it's just not your métier. I think the same about Galdós. No Spanish novelist afterwords comes even close.

Jordan dijo...


MP's been cutting loose a little the last couple books. Your "piece of me / Stones of Venice" couplet is pretty funny and could conceivably be smuggled into an MP poem.

Jonathan dijo...

I guess my question is whether I should cut these loose from the MP reference and present them as wholly my own?