With Open Arms
Writing poetry is an incessant and proud pursuit of the impossible and the improbable.
Poetry is a graceful disaster.
Poetry is accepting that its own idea is beyond help, or hope.
Poetry is a balloon losing air.
Poetry must pretend to do what it cannot do, it must do it anyway.
Poetry loses itself in itself. It loses what it finds—it hides its finding from itself, finds its losses.
Poetry refuses to be what everything else is. It lives here not the way most other things do.
Poetry wants to be alone, around everybody.
Poetry contradicts its own discoveries. In refusing to categorize, or allow categories for what it finds, it conceals from itself what it already knows, in order to discover, again and again, what it already knows.
Poetry, in being pure motivation, has no motivation. It is motivation.
Poetry is beyond what it is.
In singing it speaks, in speaking sings, poetry is voice with no voice.
Nothing could be softer than poetry. No part of its form comes from hardness.
Poetry won’t congeal. Poetry refuses order, thus burdens itself with new orders.
Poetry, in trying to say what is thought before it understands, attempts to say things honestly.
Poetry in trying to say what is not yet understood, risks confusion, unintelligibility.
Because it is honest, poetry is prophetic. It admits what is usually masked by artful lies.
Poetry is seductive in its gestures, reductive in its arguments, conductive in its strategies, productive in its tenacity and durability, and inductive in its rhythms.
Poetry is a trapdoor out of conformity.
Poetry is selfish in its goals, but exceptionally generous in its scope.
Poetry is an invitation to slip away and fondle thought.
There is never any time for poetry. It must be stolen. In this sense it teaches the weakly accommodating the art of throwing off chains.
Poetry, in making something out of nothing remains suspect, so it is considered worthless.
Poetry burns with flow, wets with fire.
Poetry in being composed of change, moves without motivation forever. In having nowhere to go, just goes.
Poetry is so fast it can’t be caught. So you can never be completely sure if you had it, have it, could have it, should have it. You can never be sure if you’ve caught it. As soon as you look again, it isn’t what it was.
Poetry remains the monarch of the first time, and of all time.
Poetry comes only when it wants to, like a cat. It does not want to be held, though sometimes it wants to be stroked.
Poetry is never satisfied, so it never satisfies. Poetry provokes and will not relent. But it won’t intrude either.
Poetry is a chameleon. Poetry changes form faster than perception can follow, so poetry can enlarge perception.
Poetry never refuses but it will not submit.
Poetry and time are not compatible. Poets can change what time is, so time does not like it.
Poetry denounces authority because it can be created by any category of persons. Category and poetry are not compatible because poetry dissolves category.
What tries to contain it, poetry dissolves. This is why it is threatening.
Poetry is mercurial—it melts, but remains globular.
Poetry reminds thought how to wander, and gives new breath - and breadth- to the heart. This is why it likes love and lovers like it. But unlike love, poetry cannot be directed. Poetry can cloak, even conceal, but it cannot be encompassed.
Freedom escapes the poverty of slavery through poetry. Even in the land of the unfettered tyrant, poetry finds a place to hide and offers sanctuary to the oppressed.
Freedom is a kind of poetry and poetry a kind of freedom. Over time, each escapes to the other because eventually each has been hounded from everywhere else.
Poetry is one third costume, one third make-up, one third voice desperately searching for air.
Poetry, in searching out a place to breathe, discovers where the air is to be found.
Poetry hides nothing, so anything can find a place to hide within it.
Poetry holds with open arms.
(published in *Kenning* #10- Spring 2001; thanks to Patrick F.Durgin)