Categories
Poems

The Pen as an Archeological Oddity

we are unable inexpressible   /           repression filled          high-(non)-functional             humans

there’s a change in perception

this abrupt       shift                in worlds has happened before,        but it’s drastic now

the way the pen rests on a table,       horizontally

beckoning, enticing our former species

it’s not that we have broken hands but broken minds

they’re see-through in order to view                                                 ink deplete gradually

the pen, an instrument of serenity                 in that even the                       motion

the gyration of the wrist

causes tiny muscles to stretch and constrict

possessed by the pen

yet all of that is only memory            now, perhaps that feeling of oneness

with the inanimate is              just a ploy of our desire,                     our half-artificial brains

lusting primitivism again

or rather hands                       that beckon                             to be of use

we are not       glorifying a utilitarian                                                 object

applying          ink to page     via gravity

nothing less yet           there’s something more about this that cannot be expressed

when we see   the pen in our new minds       physicality isn’t there

more   like a   medium

                                                to

                                                            be

Categories
Poems

1:30 in the AM in Camden

I’m sorry man I don’t got no money.

“Can you spare some change

for a cup of coffee?” I could

possibly. Although I got pains

and aches and a train to catch.

I’m not bitchin bout the cold

cause it’s my own fault I’m under-clothed.

And I’m sure nothing’s your fault neither.

No I don’t have a problem no more

with high pitched haunting machine sounds.

And I’m a little regretful about being so full,

cause none of it is nutritional.

Fried chicken and cheap lager.

I’m for sure restless in this empty street,

three minutes before the train leaves.

Sucking in carcinogens.

I’m underground and I was wrong

about the sounds now penetrating my skull.

Dive inside the metal coffin just in time.

Shaking in this unsure compartment,

this inanimate entrapment, enticing me

to free myself, but the end is not yet.

Categories
Non Fiction

Locating Dislocation

There is a problem with contemporary poetry, a problem that intrinsically stems from the issue of bewilderment. Poets and humans in general, don’t just feel lost, but disconnected from the world by being fractured in time and space. I understand and can relate to the idea of bewilderment, or the status that is prevalent in contemporary, (some would say post-modern) poetry, of being in relation to awareness of the Other. This quest is a vicious cycle. Searching for what cannot be found through words or even reality leads to confusion and the debasement of poetry itself. I believe that poetry needs a mast, one which will inherently guide the boat of the mind by the winds of emotion and thought. This is in contrast to the trend of scattered bursts of a faulty mechanical propeller. Poetry can be natural without having to be confined to the constraints of nature.

Poetry is inherently personal. This is even if the poem is detached, even if the voice is third-person omnipresent. The problem of being everywhere and every-when at once is one that Fanny Howe analyzes in her poetic and philosophical essay entitled Bewilderment. In introducing her poetics to the reader, Howe begins to explain how the characters in her fiction make her feel, as beings completely apart from her own construct and mind. Howe relates this concept to her poetry as well, and claims that the relation correlates in that she has to confront the same problem in expressing her thoughts on reality through the words she writes on the page. “I would have to say that something like the wave and the particle theories troubled the poetics of my pages: how can two people be in two places simultaneously and is there any relationship between imagination and character?” Howe reconciles this problem for herself by ending her essay with an oxymoron exclaiming that art is supposed to prove that life is worth living by expressing that it isn’t. Fanny Howe’s quest ends in a full, bloody circle.

However, poetry doesn’t have to be cyclical in order for it to stretch the limitations of conventional thought. Writing is an interpretation of life. And even though life in the 21st century is fragmentary and deterritorialized by the digitalization of even the most mundane aspects of life, (think checking your smartphone for the weather before going outside instead of looking at an analog thermometer, or even physically going outdoors to feel the temperature) the poet mustn’t succumb to the current poetic trend of expressing their perception of the world through detached mechanical incoherence. Yes, using technology may seem more accurate, and reporting on different perspectives of characters is difficult when not being able to convey multiple existences simultaneously, but attempting to express the ontologically inexpressible too often results in contradiction, and ultimately nihilism. This is what Fanny Howe does in Bewilderment.

Gabrielle Calvocoressi approaches bewilderment differently in her poem, Late Twentieth Century in the Form of Litany. This poet confronts the fragmentation of expression in a seemingly cyclical sense, because of her repetition of “I thought I heard voices.” Calvocoressi even ends her poem with the line “Over and Over I thought I heard voices”, which could be construed as a form of admission to mechanical detachment. And yet there is a clear progression in this litany that leads the reader from thinking about the character’s possible auditory hallucinations to knowing the voice’s source when the poet breaks from repetition. “Mother took all the pills and I looked at the clock.” Through this line alone, Calvocoressi locates the source of bewilderment.

Categories
Poems

No Longer White

I bled on my copy

of O’Hara’s Lunch Poems

on the page

in the poem

How to get there

smeared crimson

on the line

I’m crying with

delight thru

invisible tears

and inaudible sobs

and its intricate

individual pathways

of white

are no longer

white

I am no longer

Categories
Poems

Seep into Skin

In foreign air where your ancestors breathed

no longer than a century ago,  you

comforted a belle whose fiance was

lost in twisted charred metal. Look back and

think about how that should have been your fate;

the poison in his system only tasted

sweet for so long. When words came out of his

mouth the acrid smell of death lingered, and seminal thoughts

rush back through your mind and below your spine

in tidal waves of lust, touching thighs under

the table, that was enough of a contact

in order to transfer the tension of

a dead man and his now tranquil lover.

Accidental gravity remains as

the only not so distant memory.