Though it maybe too early to tell whether the poem will live a long and fruitful life. As you know, poems are very delicate in the early stages of their lives and go through many changes, some sudden and drastic, some expected, and some fatal.
And, yes, okay, this post is a month late. That’s just the way I roll (the dice/the car/the rolls).
But that month has provided at least some distance (what is the formula for conversion, time to distance?) and I’m still pretty much in love with the poem. Problems abound always, especially in a work this long — so many chances for contusions — but the poem holds its power till the end. A lot of cursing, though, more than I’m used to, and though it’s organic to the poem, I still found myself a little shy in a crowd after having read it.
By now you’ve realized I’m back from my self-imposed exile re: the blog. And by self-imposed exile I mean vacation. Sometimes, especially around job-hunting/fellowship-snarking season, I find myself overwhelmed with all and sundry and so retreat to my most basic activities like a snail in a shell on a hot day waiting for rain (not butter or seasoning). In this case, that meant miniature painting. Here’s a picture:
In other news, I’ve been returning to reading after returning from a trip filled with socializing. I just finished issue 23.1 of the The Comstock Review and enjoyed reading it, overall, though I was annoyed that they had mistakes in my poems. Still, what I wanted to say is this:
It may be that I hadn’t laid eyes on a poem for a long while, but Jack Barrack’s poem “Bound Lamb” really struck me. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment with the qualifier, but really it’s hard for me to remember the last time my attention was arrested while reading through a journal. And it’s hard for me to say what it is specifically about his poem that stopped me. The lines are short and… brutal. I guess that’s it, though what I’m describing is the feel of the words in the mind and on the tongue, not the words themselves (even if the poem is about a lamb being slaughtered). Here’s a sample:
The lamb was muscled now in lead.
Other poems I especially liked were “In Charge of Walt Whitman” by Carrie Heimer (though I don’t see the need for the epigraph) and “Olympia” by Carrie Shipers (ditto for the epigraph). Looking at all the poems again, what ties them together is their adventurous construction, adding Heimer’s singular flow and Shiper’s disjunctive sentences to Barrack’s (again, for lack of a better word) brutality.