Nice poem on Tuesday, September 16 from Allegrezza Blog...Bill Allegrezza
The sweet torments
Of nothing doing
The wishes benefits
Though not the same
Hours at mercy
Flesh at hand
At the center of
Near the surface of
From the depths of
Near the side of
Hold the trying's frame
Take the turning's name
From frustration's blame
To play an ancient game
Again the old frustration. Can't
seem to find that feeling of
inspiration. Here's the time- here's
the interest, but where's the poem?
I must work harder.This is why
it is so tempting to give up. Of
course there is fear and hesitation.
The poem takes me to the brink
of pain and suffering that I don't
want to think about. it's like
staying away from anything dangerous.
What is dangerous is not the possible
outcome but the feelings I have to
contend with that might emerge.
More than ever I want to
understand this reluctance. Perhaps
part of it is that I thought of
poetry as pure play- but there is
an aspect of encountering anxiety
which I shy away from as naturally
as one might shy away from a
burning flame. What is this anxiety?
Part of it is the fear of nothingness-
the fear of passivity- because so
much of writing has to do with
receptivity and patience. Meanwhile,
time is passing. Poetry is a kind of
meditation that asks the reader to
also meditate. It is a questioning
that offers more questions than answers.
It is a desire to perform and to
exhibit ideas, language, experiences.
A lot of the time I want to
do it and avoid it at the same
time. Keep coming to these
impasses. I like the Beckett
statement about the obligation to
express with nothing to express.
Poetry is always about the
courage to face this vast
emptiness- which is nothing
more or less than the difficulty
to truly engage with others-
and with oneself.
I want to show
What cannot be shown
What cannot be known
What cannot be sung
What cannot be heard
I think part of the secret is to
accept the pleasure in having this
opportunity even when the actuality
is so frustrating- the pleasure
should be able to overcome
the frustration and give permission toi
continue. So writing poetry is
hard because the usual reaction or
logical reaction to frustration
would be to give up. I've noticed
that the imagination is like any
muscle in the body which gets
tired and doesn't want to work
Is it the tension that's
needed when I just want to relax?
The poem is preposterous.
It wants no part of us.
Living in itself, in its own world
It sees us with a dispassionate eye.
We speak to it in seductive tones
To try to woo it out of its hiding place.
But it stays inside.
So we try to echo its sounds
With our sound.
Finally, ikt takes pity on us
And lets us in.
Once inside we understand
But when we're out we can't understand.
We imitate its grandiose independence
With admiring words
Nothing is unfamiliar anymore
Not a dog's barking
Or a friend's illness
Not the gestures of love
Nor the hoarse throated screamings of hate
Not the wrinkied face pains of birth
Or the exhausted and empty faces of death
Because my pleasure in poetry
Was based on communicating
The strangeness of things, this
Pleasure has diminished because
Things are no longer so strange.
It's even hard to make them appear strange-
Even inside their masks, I know who they are.
Fulness isn't strange, nor is emptiness.
Both are as ordinary as a wrinkled shirt
Or a dirty cup.
The answer, obviously, is to
Communicate the pleasures of the everyday- but how is
This to be done without sounding mawkish or dull.
What about tthat good bagel for breakfast with whitefish,
And that cup of coffee, reading the paper,
Talking to Toni for hours and hours,
Reading a good book, a
Sunny day, a long walk,
A warm sweater, the icy moon,
With the dark branches painted right over?
"Newts, crawling things in slime and mud, poisons,
The barren soil, the evil men, the slag and hideous rot."
Whitman, pl 427