Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Nearest Simile Is Respiration

To poetry

I was boozed I was doped I was maybe
a floozy before you knew me, loose
leafed like autumn and most of the books
of the Old Testament that fell out
of my father's Bible. I had a body.

I had a habit of hauling my telescope
into the outskirts, ransacking all
the toothsome blackness for what: a reason
not to do me in. Proof I was more
than the seasonal ragbag detritus
choking the rooftop gutters, more
than a piece of the cosmic dust
in some ruined philosophy.

I could not be consoled by the universal
Sisyphus in us all, the dung beetle
nuzzling its putrid globe.

I could not hitch my wagon. The stars
and stars abrade my notions of my Self;
tricuspid Eros chewed me raw; Jesus
Christ rubbed mud in my eyes, and I saw
not. I did not see.

But with you! my sweetheart hairshirt,
my syntactic gondolier, ruffian for hire, befoolable
irresolute Chanticleer: with you, I back-float
the massy and heretofore unnavigable childhood
algal blooms, where no fish swam. No fish
have swum that Mississippi.

With you, I forgive my father's notes
to NASA, the self-inflicted swastika tattoo,
my sister's coked-up juggernaut cannonball
into the afterlife.

I forgive the afterlife,
resurrect John Lennon and the jukebox
at the Quik 'N' Hot, infect myself
with a rare strain of tarantism. With you, I dance
the summum bonum. With you, I am greater
than or equal to the lack, and luck is weather
that permits my red begonias.

Ashley Capps
Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields
The University of Akron Press

This poem was ganked from Poetry Daily, where it was a featued poem a couple of weeks ago. Ms. Capps attended that school for scribblers here in town, The Foxhead , er ,The Writers' Workshop. According to her publisher's website she still lives in the area so maybe a Prairie Lights reading will be around the corner.

I was going planning on sharing what I have been reading since finishing Cormac McCarthy's The Road but once again exigencies at work prevented me. So enjoy the poem.

(The verb gank and its usage was ganked from Mike Doughty's website.)


El Duderino said...

good one

Churlita said...

The beta blog benefits work very nicely here. Unfortunately, when I set up my blog, blogger was being all difficult and it wouldn't even let me access beta. Maybe I'll feel like dealing with it later.

Dexter said...

I did find out that Ashley Capps is scheduled to read Nov 30th at Prairie Lights. Naturally I will be out of town.