Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Poem → Blackwing


Poison lies in wait, not about
To fill three trumpets with spit
While someone beats a drum. Not

Quite. It knows to tread softly up

The stone stairs.

And fear as a signal fails the wary

At a point where trust meets what
Love should be. Would be.

Easier to run from a killer than from
One who meant for you to end


There is no rhyme in this tale, yet

You look. Dammit, do not look.

It is not here in what happened

Nor in the poem of it.

No rhythm. No meter.

You know you survived.
Let that be enough for now.
Enough, even as you yet pant.

Hiding your face in your hands,
I urge you to part two fingers.

Friend, the stone steps are silent.

Remember. In the ascension,
You knew it to be an angel.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007


Beth said...

I can always find something in your poetry that has meaning for me.
Whether it's what you intended is another matter...

May said...

I find the previous comment very nice.

cipriano said...

Thank you, girls.
Beth, I always try to leave some ambiguity to my poetry, some wiggle room, as it were. In this one, for instance, eschewing any reference to gender. The last line having "it" as a pronoun, rather than "she" even though it is obviously a woman in the visual image.
Although I very much dislike poems that have as their goal a deliberately confused reader, poetry that is too self-explanatory errs in becoming nothing more than a sprawled out paragraph.
I think that good poetry [not saying that mine is such] seeks a nice kind of balance between these extremes. There should remain something very condensed about it, each line or stanza leaving a reader with a feeling that much more could have been said, but shouldn't have been. That is the art, and, I think, the worthy goal of poetry.
There should be many, many lines between lines, and a sense that more words could have been employed, yes, but never any fewer.

Thank you, Beth and May, for thoughtfully reading my stuff.

Soph said...

If we are going to start on that rocky road to closely examining poetry, I will throw in Emerson's idea that it should be as old as the rock and as new as foam.

Or how about Frost's saying that poetry begins as a lump in the throat?
Or that the delight of a poem is in remembering something that you did not know you knew.

Or the most recent comment I have read that said, "Poems are hypothetical sites of speculation, not position papers. They do not exist on the same plane as actual life. They are not votes, they are not uttered from a podium or a pulpit, they are not essays. They are products of reverie." (Helen Vendler)

Ahhh, cipriano, I have read many of your word-packed poems and find that in each one there is always more than there first appears. This I like; this I admire despite the fact that I myself am more like Walt Whitman than Emily Dickinson!

For a poet to be able to have his reader come back and glean more from the poem – because it is dense, packed - with each reading...well, this is what I seek in a poem.
I like recognizeable art in poetry, myself. Arrangement. Some semblance of order. Repeated motifs. Clever word plays.

In your poetry (both here and at your magnificent Poetrypuddle) what I observe are strong images. Stone steps, seeing and not seeing, knowing and merely thinking you know… escape and confinement. I like the way you balance and develop these elements as the poem unfolds.

Beth’s right, I think, there is plenty in here for a range of readers.

Maybe Joyce Kilmer was right…only God can make a tree. But I like a generous serving of words by someone who is careful to use them well. Someone who reflects on stuff.

Reverie: it has its own special reverence for me.

cipriano said...

I love that Emerson thing. About rocks and foam.
And you mention Ms. Dickinson.
Is there.... was there ever, anyone more pithy, and condensitized, than our Emily?
She could take Homer's Odyssey, and make a haiku of it.
And she said one of my all-time favorite things, about poetry:
"If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry."

Emily Dickinson. Robert Browning. Edna St. Vincent Millay. Thomas Hardy [<- my favorite poet, ever]. Rupert Brooke. Billy Collins. Shakespeare.
All of these have reached for paper, and have put on that paper what cannot possibly be put on paper.

stefanie said...

Beautiful poem Cip. I really like your poetic voice, I find it lyrical and soothing even if the poem itself is not soothing. I love the difference between your poetic voice and your story voice when you write about killing oven timers :)