Sunday, July 14, 2013

Taking Flight

In lavender chiffon and and on a day with just the right breeze to keep her in motion, she greets the visitors to Lavender Hill Farm outside Boyne City, Michigan. Early lavenders are in bloom now (some are still to come--I had no idea there were so many different kinds! And white ones!) and the moving air is gloriously scented. I loved the way her dress and arms move with the air, and come to rest when the wind pauses. I spent quite a while thinking about the idea for this human simulacrum and wondering who the artist is, and if she does it for love or for money. The white gloves seem like a double layer of stitched felt and have the right weight and substance to catch the wind and make such a fine confident walking illusion. The hat is perfect and the ropes of beads at her neck also!

Recently the mail brought the volume Black Aperture, by Matt Rasmussen (Louisiana State University Press, 2013) which  recently won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, and thus wound up in the mailboxes of those of us who belong to the support group. Often it takes me some time to warm up to a new poet, but this was interesting right away, and not just because of the backstory, a brother's suicide. The poem I finally chose is this one.


The man who 
drew the first 

map was able
to see through

the eye
of a bird,

Fields speckled
with snow

are covered
in clouds

like dark faces
veiled twice

I have told
you too much,

forgive us both,
O sun,

O stainless fuselage,
weave us

between the veils
before we darken

and dip into
the twinkling net.

Each small town
a blemish

on the night's skin,
each city

a tumor of light.

Matt Rasmussen, op. cit. pages 8-9

There is a great deal to think about in a poem with such short lines, which starts out with
such a promising image. I found it surprisingly difficult to type the linebreaks and had to go back to
insert a return. Right now I am scratching a recent mosquito bite and cannot think about poetry anymore.
But I am planning to write a poem with VERY short lines. Wish me luck! Good night.

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