Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Made Death Into a Symbol (amatuerish, a little juvenile, but brought on by something that's explicitly talked bout in the poem)

I made death a symbol
and can't help but be a little pissed
at myself for doing so:
this pull to describe, to transform,
it is intense and the fact
that the letters still go holds my anger still

...Mark Doty, in a talk about James Wright's
"On a Hound's Skeleton"
praised the fact that death doesn't fall into
abstraction, that we're pushed back
into the dog, as it were,
the reality of things, where
a living thing mussed up a clover field
as it ran through it,
and the symbol of death, our speculations
and attempts to conjure it into
a specter of
understanding and opinion fails.

we stay grounded like grass
in our own wavering thoughts
and are better for it in the end,
we checker pieces who doubt
as much as we move diagonally,
or just a bit better
we who sit at home
after the funeral,
forbidden by law and custom
to look into the mirror
eating lox and cream-cheese bagels
and talking about the past.

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