have you made a war out of your heart?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

have you made a war out of your heart?


have you learned your lessons as well as you could have?
have you poured yourself out entirely and made not a drop
of your soul an acid throw? have you given your mask away
a dozen times and shown yourself naked to the beloved? and if not
why not? the world aches for this sort of courage and you have failed
if you have not done any of these works

have you grown a garden of words and laid the root cellar full of your harvest?
have you gone out into the world and faced each lie with your sword and cut down
as much of that thicket down? have you made a war out of your heart? have you taken
down all those who would harm the ones who are powerless? have you been shield and cry?
have you done the good work? and if not why not? why have you not spoken up and given your blood
for the cause which is the cause of all of mankind? why have you not laid your life on the line?

the line of poetry the line of language the line of acts of courage?
why have you stayed silent while the homeless walked by your home?
why have you not spoken for the hungry? why have you kept quiet when we have been lied to?
why have you not taken out your soul from its burial ground and given it up in life to do the work
of love? I ask you this not to make you ashamed or restless I ask you this because I am curious
how can you let your children live and yet keep silent when their children die?

how can you do this?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stupid Muse

It is a hard thing to write a poem. To write anything means to sit here and rattle the few coins in the tin cup of my brain. I want to shape shift out of the hours a small song to keep me company but there is nothing that rises out of the tin shape to mist itself into music.
I wonder sometimes if there are pots where stews of poems are simmered –year after year.  And how am I do make such a hearty concoction when I cannot even tame a tea cup to make a heated surface?
I plug myself into a book and unplug myself out. I rope my mind for another throw at the heifer I want to brand. I race along the wheels of the train that is steaming away. There is not a single time that I am able to get the words to do what I wish them to do.
Not a single time. 
All the poems I write seem like water vapor.  They seem like mist. They seem like steam.  Except I do not see them.  They are here. In my head.  I feel their push and shove and anxiety. I have no vent to let them out.  They boil inside me.
When I sit down, only prose puckers my lips. Only these stupid words ---of prose----press their lips to the paper and leave their lipstick marks. It is infuriating.  I do not like these strumpets.
Why is it that prose stampedes out of the fenced areas of the mind---breaking through fences of barbed wire and wood—to hoof freely about the far countries of language?  Why can’t poems stampede out in the same damn way?
I am fed up of waiting.  All I seem to do is sit here and wait for a Muse that never shows up. Inconstant. Fickle. Absent. Stupid Muse.
Even when he does show up he doesn’t teach me much.  He prattles on and on about nonsense and gives me a headache.  Sometimes I want to swat him. The Muse is a very poor boss.
Sometimes I feel quite desperate.  I feel like ripping up books of poetry.  I suppose this is the reason why everyone wants to write poetry—but don't----it is because they have gone mad. Those who do manage to write poetry have overcome insanity to refrain-- from ripping books of poetry to bits --for discrete intervals of time--during which they have made a few poems. They have become spiders and they have been able to --like the spiders all about the garden--make fragile invisible nets to catch small flies of words and make them visible --after sweating their own blood ---over the hidden nets.  I don't know if I can do this. Sweat blood ---over my own nets of mind--- to catch the flies of words. I don't know if can be a spider.

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