November 11, 2005

for the dreams of the weedking we all sing


war and romance, by jeff lipschutz

Beyond Pleasure
-- by Jack Gilbert

Gradually we realize what is felt is not so important
(however lonely or cruel) as what the feeling contains.
Not what happens to us in childhood, but what was
inside what happened. Ken Kesey sitting in the woods,
beyond the fence of whitewashed motorcycles, said when
he was writing on acid he was not writing about it.
He used what he wrote as blazes to find his way back
to what he knew then. Poetry registers
feelings, delights, and passion, but the best searches
out what is beyond pleasure, is outside process.
Not the passion so much as what the fervor can be
an ingress to. Poetry fishes us to find a world
part by part, as the photograph interrupts the flux
to give us time to see each thing separate and enough.
The poem chooses part of out endless flowing forward
to know its merit with attention.

Liaisons
-- by James Tate

He was obviously the emissary
and we shook hands with the secret shake.
He was not surprised by me
nor I by him.

"I made use of your absence to remember you,"
doffing his cap cordially.

Why did I let him speak to me
those warm rivers.
Children in wheelchairs came down the hill.

"I made use of your absence to remember you,"
he repeated cruelly.

The Door
-- by James Tate

I try to keep in mind
that you can always
walk out the door.

the door, the door, the door

what does dore mean
dore doesn't mean anything.
well then what does doar mean
doesn't doesn't mean anything to me either.
What about dour,
I think it means something.
I'm waking up.

Wake Up
-- by James Tate

For November it is November,
you were always so proud of that.
It's the first cold day
of a cold day's insistence,

the crisp tautness you've waited for.
There you are, wrapped:
you have good sense, yes,
you've been auxious for something like this.

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