Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sundry Views of Poetry

Throughout April, National Poetry Month, I kept a running catalog of daily ideas— quick impressions, thirty lines for later use.

— the arch of a crescent moon

— the crackling of a grackle’s call, midmorning

— the cliché of the arc of a crescent moon descending low on the lip of the horizon

— mid-day light pouring from an empty pitcher

— the arch of a crescent moon crossing a window

— a plague of thirteen grackles gathered midmorning in full congregation

— the distance between the window and the yellow arch of the crescent moon

— the arch of a crescent moon crossing a cracked bedroom window

— the crescent moon like a thief pausing beside a cracked bedroom window

— the silence held tightly by an infant as it sleeps, small hands uncurling

— the moon slipping like a thief through a cracked window into a bedroom

— the scent of a baby damp from its bath

— the moon as it stands at the foot of your bed, glancing down

— the quiet sounds of a baby suckling its bottle at three in the morning

— a sudden deer leaping across a dirt back road, flinging itself across the car’s headlights, into the side ditch of darkness, shaking my life awake, pulsing wildly within my chest

— the path of an elderly man pushing his electric-blue walker down side streets, looking like a personification of winter in ragged clothing

— his Whitman-white beard falling to his chest, his bamboo braided hat with a wide-brim pulled out against the rising morning sun

— a bitter-sweet cup of coffee, bottom of the pot, leaving a ring of black grit at the base of the mug

— a book opened to a blank page

— the slow drag of a siren slipping down the highway at night

— the snap of a match igniting

— a woman in her thirties smoking one last cigarette, pulling the sensation deep into her memory

— in the evening, the scent of gardenias pool at your knees like memories

— interlocking rings of water left to dry on a kitchen countertop

— the arch of fat bridging over the waistline of a middle-aged man as he pulls a fresh shirt over his shoulders

— the nicotine stains on her nails raising up recollections of her grandmother’s hands

— a wrinkled corpse rolling over in the dust bed of his coffin

— in a splinter of afternoon, a clear glass vase with fading paper magnolias

— the pull of past impressions after watching chimney swifts arc over gravel driveways at twilight

— the manner insomnia clings to the body, as a young boy with a clutch of thirty dried marigolds in his two hands